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September 2016


That's the Spirit! More caravans now heading to Apple Isle

That's the Spirit! More caravans now heading to Apple Isle

Grey nomads lead the charge

That's the spirit ... more 'vans head to Apple Isle

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MORE and more grey nomads are heading to the Apple Isle.

They lead the growing number of travellers using the Spirit of Tasmania ferries, with passenger numbers up 8.9 percent to 418,831 in the year up to July.

"The financial year has been a particularly big year for grey nomads," Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding told the Tasmanian parliament.

He said the number of caravans crossing the Bass Strait had risen 7.7 percent while motorhomes had shown a nine percent increase.

"These fantastic numbers are great news for the state as Spirit passengers stay longer and spend more in Tasmania than those who come by other means.

"This means more money into local businesses and more jobs for Tasmanians."

The minister said the momentum showed no sign of slowing down, with forward bookings up 14.5 percent from the previous year and extra day sailings to cope with the increasing market demand.

The government credits the rise in bookings to changes in the ferries' operations, which include refurbishment, reduced fares and more sailings.

Tourism Tasmania’s chief executive John Fitzgerald said figures were a great outcome for regional communities and the local economy.

"The island's compact size makes it one of Australia’s best destinations for touring, whether by car, motorhome or towing a caravan," he told Caravanning News.

"Not only are all our local destinations and communities a short distance apart, but our roads seem less congested and around every corner there’s an opportunity to encounter the people, places, experiences and attractions that make Tassie so special," he said.

"Tasmania has long been popular with Australians wanting to tour the island with their caravans and motorhomes.

"The TT Line has been making a concerted effort in recent years to provide for the needs of people who want to bring their own RVs on the Spirits of Tasmania.

"Their latest figures prove that more people are grabbing the opportunity to come here and spend their time experiencing our magnificent national parks and beaches, bustling markets, world-class produce, historic buildings and places, rich arts and cultural communities ... special places where local stories live and breathe."


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