What is the Visitor Economy?

“Our vision is for Tasmania to be a world-leading destination of choice, with a vibrant visitor economy supported by our tourism and hospitality industries, strong business and education sectors and a community that embraces our visitors and all the benefits they bring.”

The ‘visitor economy’ acknowledges that many communities and industries contribute to and benefit from the scale of travel to Tasmania. Small businesses in markets not traditionally regarded as part of the tourism industry, and/or those located in suburban, regional or remote areas can have a role to play in creating unique visitor experiences that see customers become advocates for Tasmania and its brand. The visitor economy is a significant contributor to the Tasmanian economy.

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Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland accounted for 85 per cent of all interstate visitors to Tasmania in 2018.


They stayed a total of 10.83 million nights in the state, with each visitor staying an average of 8.2 nights.


Tasmania welcomed a record 308,800 international visitors in 2018 with Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and China recording strong growth during the year.

“…We regularly welcome visitors from all over the world to our little shop in midtown Hobart. It’s a great time to be a small retailer in Tasmania!”

Katinka Challen, Owner of Lily & Dot - Hobart

Read Katinka's story

People are travelling to Tasmania in unprecedented numbers, with 1.32 million visitors arriving between January and December 2018.

In tandem, the global boom of the sharing economy is also surging in Tasmania, with the increased use of online platforms enabling greater access to a range of local services, attractions and experiences that extend beyond what is conventionally regarded as ‘tourism operators’.

Tasmania’s visitor economy is delivering benefits to more parts of the community than ever before, and is something from which an increasing number of small businesses can benefit.

As the Tasmanian Government aims to generate even more demand for travel through its T21 Visitor Economy Strategy 2015–2020, so do the opportunities grow for an increased number of businesses – including those in non-traditional visitor hotspots and market sectors – to stake a claim in the state’s burgeoning visitor economy.

Quarterly Tourism Snapshot and Summary of Tasmanian Visitor Survey, Tourism Tasmania, April 2019

(Photos by Nat Mendham)

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In 2018, there were 1.32 million visitors to Tasmania

68% of visitor nights were spent in regional Tasmania in 2018

Visitor expenditure from January – December of 2018 was $2.46 billion

“...A group of small businesses collaborated on a campaign to establish awareness of our location, using the hashtag #MidtownHobart.”

Katinka Challen, Owner of Lily & Dot - Hobart

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Customers are very interested in meeting the growers and makers of the products we make and sell. They particularly like to see that we are ethically growing our products and caring for our pristine environment.

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David and Lisa,
Campo De Flori
Read David and Lisa's story

Businesses will benefit if they are prepared for the behaviour of tourists' consumer style. Set up a booking service online and hire extra staff during big events and festivals.

Eye Am Hair
Read Chelsea's story
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Find out more about how Katinka Challen from Lily & Dot attracts visitors from all over the world to her little shop in Midtown, Hobart.

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(Photo by Nat Mendham)


Since 2012, the Digital Ready program has helped thousands of local Tasmanian businesses to make use of online tools and resources so they can benefit from the “digital economy”.

If you’re ready to grow your business by taking the next step online or using social media, the Digital Ready for Business program is here to help. The program has been developed to empower Tasmanian small and medium businesses to take charge of their online presence and develop an online strategy that really works.

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Connected Tasmania