Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

9 November 2017

Peter Gutwein, Minister for State Growth

Visitor numbers attracting major hotel interest in Northern Tasmania

Growing visitor numbers to Launceston and the Greater Northern Region are attracting big names in the hotel business including Hyatt, Marriott, and Intercontinental, as well as the Silo Hotel development, just to meet demand.

A new study by the Office of the Coordinator-General shows that existing visitor accommodation is operating at, or near, capacity for six months of the year.

This is a boon for local businesses, jobs and the economy with visitors each spending on average more than $2000 per visit in the region.

Visitor projections from the study show we are already outstripping our T21 Target of 1.5 million visitors to the state by 2020 and we will need another 600 rooms in Northern Tasmania and some 400 in Launceston alone just to keep up.

The Hodgman Liberal Government has set bold targets to Build Your Future and this report shows that the North is a prime area for investment and development, which in turn will create jobs for hundreds of Tasmanians.

We’ve seen how an increase in visitors has changed Hobart for the better and contributed to an economic boom, now it’s time for Launceston and the Greater Northern Tasmania to share the benefits as well.

New high-end hotels will boost base demand by some 10 per cent alone and also encourage tourists to spend more time in regional Tasmania.

This justifies the region’s significant place as a tourism hub, creating even more jobs and further boosting the local economy.

Importantly, high-end hotels with conferencing facilities and a premium offering will also attract more conferences to the North, which would be a real shot in the arm for the region.

The Silos Hotel is a great example of the short-term and long-term benefits of developing new accommodation options.  The construction project is supporting 80 full-time jobs and once built, the Silos will employ another 43 staff to service 27,000 visitors a year, injecting an estimated $8 million into the local economy annually.

These new facilities will act as a base for tourists looking for exceptional experiences such as visiting Cataract Gorge, cruising the Tamar River, taking a winery tour in the Tamar Valley and exploring cafes, shops, bars and markets in the city’s historic CBD before branching out to the North-East and the world renowned mountain bike trails of Derby.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is also investing in events for the North to increase visitor numbers.  We’re supporting events from the Big Bash and AFL right through to the Effervescence Tasmania, which showcases the North’s premium sparkling wines.

Key findings of the Accommodation Supply Analysis – Launceston and Greater Northern Region are available at www.cg.tas.gov.au

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