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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

STRONG SHOWING BY TOURISM INDUSTRY EARLY IN SEASON - Paula Wriedt, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

STRONG SHOWING BY TOURISM INDUSTRY EARLY IN SEASON - Paula Wriedt, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Latest results from the Survey of Tourist Accommodation released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics paint a positive picture for Tasmania’s current tourism season.

Tourism Minister Paula Wriedt said that the results released yesterday show promising early signs for operators with increases in investment, employment, number of nights, length of stay and expenditure in the State for the 2005 September quarter.

“Tasmania has performed very strongly in the latest survey with every aspect measured reporting an increase and all aspects outperforming the national average,” she said.

“The scope of the survey includes hotels, motels, guest houses and serviced apartments with 15 or more rooms and whilst the survey does not cover all accommodation in the State, it does provide a guide as to how the industry is faring at this time of year.

“In the September 2005 quarter, Tasmania recorded a 5.5 per cent increase in establishments (an additional eight establishments) which was also reflected in an 8.6 per cent increase in employment compared to the same quarter last year.”

Ms Wriedt said this was clearly a sign of the confidence demonstrated in our tourism industry with many of the $600 million worth of investments now coming to fruition, providing additional accommodation and employment for locals.

“Significant increases were also recorded in room nights occupied and the most critical factor for the industry – the amount of money people were spending whilst in Tasmania,” she said.

“Room nights occupied increased 7.3 per cent (quarter figure) and there was a significant lift in expenditure for the quarter increasing by 15.3 per cent. This also carried through to the year ending figures where expenditure increased by 9.5 per cent compared to the national average of 6.9 per cent.

“The strength of our industry is its appeal and the resilience of the tourism industry with the ability to continue to outperform the national average despite recording lower growth levels than previous years.

“And as we have mentioned before, recent trends have seen people taking shorter trips with the average length of stay for this period 1.9 days compared to the national average of 2.3 days.”

Ms Wriedt said that historically the Tasmanian tourism period really hit its straps in the January-March period with the September quarter usually quieter.

“To have increases in room nights and expenditure early in the season when we are traditionally quieter certainly bodes well for the summer months,” she said.


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