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Tassie tourism budget welcomed

MONA, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania.

The additional AUD$16 million in tourism marketing funding in this year’s Tasmanian budget is an acknowledgment of the industry’s importance to the state and a vote of confidence in its potential as an economic development strategy, according to the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF).

The 2014-15 Tasmanian Budget allocates an extra AUD$4 million a year to Tourism Tasmania’s base funding, delivering on promises made ahead of the election of the Hodgman government in March.

TTF Acting Chief Executive Trent Zimmerman said the additional funding gives the agency certainty.

“An extra $16 million in tourism marketing funding will help Tourism Tasmania capitalise on the current momentum and drive further growth in visitation as Tasmania works to achieve its Tourism 2020 goal of 1.5 million visitors,” Zimmerman said.

“It will allow Tourism Tasmania to enter into longer-term marketing agreements and give industry further confidence that it has the support of government.

“Tasmania welcomed a record number of visitors in the year to March and consistent marketing activities are essential in letting the world know about what Tasmania has to offer.

“The additional marketing funding comes in tandem with significant increases in funding for major events, which are key drivers of visitation, giving people a reason to plan a trip.

“We are also very pleased to see strong investment in Tasmania Parks and Wildlife, as well as funding towards the completion of the South West Track and the full Three Capes Track.

“We’d also like to congratulate the Hodgman government for its $5 million investment to complete the upgrade of the West Coast Wilderness Railway, as well as a further $5.5 million over the forward estimates to support its operation.

“This kind of investment in tourism infrastructure is critical to attracting visitors to regional areas and encouraging dispersal outside the major centres.

“Tasmania is Australia’s most tourism dependent state, providing 17,000 direct and 24,000 indirect jobs, with so it’s great to see the Hodgman government backing the industry and supporting its future growth.

“While it already contributes $2.4 billion in GSP to the Tasmanian economy, the additional support announced today will help tourism fulfil its potential as an economic development strategy for Tasmania, providing additional job and business opportunities and future prosperity across the state.”

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