PHOTO: From the Au Review
TTN: The Hobart Mercury is reflecting on the larger success of festivals like Dark Mofo, pointing out that whilst city-based economic wins are localised, their successes bring attention to bigger issues. Matt Smith says sudden national interest in a festival brings focus to the value of tourism, and that in the week of Dark Mofo, the penalty rate and World Heritage arguments have been back in the spotlight. This article points to tourism product development as the best way to capitalise on national attention.
Tassie must ride wave of tourism
From The Mercury, 22nd June 2014
STALLHOLDERS and organisers today will be packing up from what was another highly successful Dark Mofo Winter Feast.
The Winter Feast highlights all that is fantastic about the Museum of Old and New Art’s annual winter festival, showing off the artistic kudos of the museum that is the state’s biggest tourism drawcard.
The Hobart waterfront has been buzzing with an influx of young and old, hip and not so hip, and tourists keen to see what all the fuss is about.
It has also dragged Hobartians out of their winter slumber to embrace the carnival atmosphere.
Patrons kept warm and cozy with slathers of freshly roasted meats, warm apple cider and locally made whisky.
They gathered around wood fires watching on as people hopped on the Ferris Wheel of Death and gasped as flaming explosions lit up the area around Princes Wharf No.1.
The festival makes Tasmania’s capital city look and feel as vibrant as any other capital city in the country. It has been a wonderful reminder of what can be done with the right product. But, it also provides a perfect opportunity, with the good vibes of the festival fresh in our collective minds, to think about what more can we be doing beyond Hobart.
Regional areas with depressed economies will see just a fraction of the benefits that Dark Mofo has brought to the state. In the past few days, three issues that could help shape the future of the state’s tourism industry in regional areas have again made headlines – penalty rates; expressions of interest in national parks and World Heritage Areas; and the possibility of regular hop on, hop off seaplane flights around the state. Tasmanian Air Adventures’ proposal to use the state’s waterways as runways has serious merit.
With a 12-seat float plane and tickets costing about $300 to $400 return from Hobart to Strahan or Coles Bay it is possible to imagine Dark Mofo patrons adding additional days to their holiday and exploring other parts of the state.
With an ‘‘around the state’ ticket”, art lovers drawn to the Hobart waterfront for MONA’s winter festival could immerse themselves in the vastly different experiences of the East Coast, the West Coast and the Tamar Valley.
It is then possible to imagine those same people pencilling in a regular trip to Tasmania during the winter.
The State Government’s call for ‘‘expressions of interest’’ in new development and tourism experiences in Tasmania’s wild places could be the catalyst for a whole new range of products that will keep interstate and international tourists coming back for more.
Dark Mofo has again proved what can be achieved with the right people making great decisions. It is now time, in the afterglow of the event, to truly consider what can be done to bring that same vibrancy to other parts of the state that are still struggling to get visits during Tasmania’s winters.