A sustainable visitor economy


Hobart is a confident, creative and inspiring city, where tourism is one part of a thriving and diverse economy. Hobart is a boutique destination rather than a city for mass tourism. It is an industry that respects and draws strength from the local community, environment and heritage.

Hobart continues to be a place that the ‘big-islanders’ love – we are a destination with repeat visitation where people get to know the city. We also attract people from around the world because of our combination of natural environment, scenic beauty and unique built heritage.

Hobart’s appeal to visitors is based on the things that locals also love about Hobart. Our visitor economy allows us to share the things we are proud of – places we have protected, creative things we are doing and opportunities to tell our stories to the world.

ACTION 2019 – 2022

As Lord Mayor of Hobart I support the continuation of a number of existing actions being taken by Council to support the visitor economy, including:

  • Council financial support for Dark MOFO as an important initiative to attract visitors in winter,
  • Ongoing Council support for Business Events Tasmania and Destination Southern Tasmania,
  • Council’s ongoing role in leading and managing Salamanca Markets, which are one of the state’s premier attractions,
  • An ongoing role in a Taste of Tasmania event, although I believe that the event needs other financial and organisational partners to reduce the cost of the Taste to Hobart ratepayers.

I will also advocate for the following new initiatives to support Hobart’s visitor economy. Most of these initiatives are also of value to the local community. Many in the tourism industry understand that initiatives have to be of value to and welcomed by both tourism industry stakeholders and the local community in order to be sustainable for the long term.

kunanyi / Mount Wellington
  • Walking – I support Council’s work to maintain 120kms of walking tracks, 20kms of bike tracks that are loved by tourists and locals as well. I will push for the development of improved signage and promotion to ensure these tracks are accessible to visitors.
    To promote tours on the mountain that are based around active transport, I will advocate to reduce permit costs from a current annual fee of $1,100 to match the lower Parks and Wildlife licence for walking and cycling tours on the mountain.
  • Visitors Centre – I will advocate for the development of a publicly funded Visitor Centre at the Springs, which can be the gateway to the mountain that provides guidance to visitors on walks, heritage and natural features of the mountain as well as other facilities. Council has already undertaken some high quality business case work on the development.
  • Transport – I understand concerns about traffic and increasing visitor pressure on the mountain. I will lobby the state government to increase funding for the Wellington Park Management Trust to employ more on the ground rangers.
    As Chairperson of the Parks Committee I have supported the introduction of a new ‘all access’ mountain shuttle bus service starting soon. I will continue to advocate for this service to become even more regular, affordable and have multiple pick-up and drop-off spots.
  • Multi-day walk – I support an iconic multi-day walk that starts at Cascade Brewery and ends in the Huon Valley that goes to the top of the mountain, traverses Collins Bonnet, and allow for facilities for a one night stop. I will promote this idea and discuss it with stakeholders.
Hobart’s Waterfront
  • Hobart’s waterfront needs a more complete strategy to bring together all the ideas and plans from the Battery Point walkway, to Castray Esplanade, to implementation of the Ghel vision, use of Civic Square, improved public space, cruise ship numbers and how this all fits with Macquarie Point.
    As Mayor I would create a shared vision and action plan for Hobart’s Waterfront and bring together all the players with a role in Hobart’s waterfront to create this vision with the Hobart community.
Hobart’s Treasury buildings
  • Hobart’s Treasury buildings are a national treasure and deserve to be developed into a creative, history-focused public place with some commercial spaces. As a complement to MONA’s modernism, I will advocate for the Treasury buildings to be kept in public hands and developed into a new city attraction in a crucial place between the city and the waterfront.

My vision for the Treasury buildings is a place a bit like Customs House in Sydney – public space with free entry and open seven days a week. It could be a home for some of TMAG’s huge colonial art collection, a home for the library’s historic collections and a public reading room, a home for a new Hobart Tourism and Travel Information Centre, meeting rooms for hire, cafes and restaurants.

Enhancing Hobart’s heritage heart
  • Hobart’s heritage is one of our most important assets for the visitor economy and I will take a number of initiatives to ensure our heritage is protected and promoted, including:
    • Establish a Hobart Heritage Advisory Committee
    • Advocate for a better resourced Heritage Unit at Council to help tell our stories promote existing specialist walks like the Bobbies Walk of Battery Point, the Women’s Walk and Antarctic history
    • Increase the Heritage Fund and aim to improve iconic streetscapes in the CBD.
Additional funding for new initiatives
  • I will host a roundtable with the tourism industry and state government to investigate the introduction of a small but effective visitor levy or special rating system to help us fund tourist infrastructure into the future. If designed well, it would barely be noticed and be efficient to collect, but could be a big help to local governments struggling to keep up with the costs of infrastructure. Visitor levies are accepted both nationally and internationally, but we need to look at the evidence, discuss a range of options and investigate a model that fits with our local conditions and is most appropriate for Hobart.
Supporting small business and start-ups
  • Hobart’s CBD is unique when compared to many other capital city centres because of the number of small businesses selling locally made products and services. Visitors to Hobart seek out local makers of our famous food and beverage and local goods too.
    Hobart City retailers do not currently have an active inner-city business group to organise promotions, place making and think strategically about the future of their area. I will continue to work with city retailers to get something stared in the CBD like CityProm in Launceston.
  • To help support innovation and start-ups I will advocate to extend the tourist information centre current offer of a free brochure slot for the first year to be the first two years and also waive the 15% booking commission for the first year of a new small tourism business.