Tourism has continued to be a major driver of economic growth in Tasmania

Surging tourism numbers, strong retail performance and the housing price boom has Tasmania well positioned to remain in a state of strong economic growth through 2018, according to the latest MyState Tasmanian Economic Update.

State Final Demand, a broad measure of economic activity, is predicted to continue rising on the back of a four-and-a-half year upswing, and reached an all-time high of $7.86bn in the September quarter.

Tasmanian retail sales grew 2.7% in the year to October compared to the national average of 1.8%, supported by strong tourism growth. Food retailing, including restaurant trade, made up 44% of total retail sales, while vehicle sales increased by almost 5% in the three months to October.

MyState Limited’s Chief Financial Officer David Harradine said it was great news that Tasmania was in such a strong economic position as it headed into the festive Christmas season, which was expected to be a rewarding one for local retailers.

“With the state also moving into the busiest tourism season of the year, this should provide a further boost to the economy and help give it a strong start to 2018,” Mr Harradine said.

“Tourism has continued to be one of the major engines of Tasmania’s economic and employment growth and industry leaders are doing a great job of promoting what the state has to offer, both in Australia and overseas, as well as attracting investment to support it.”

Total Tasmania visitor numbers increased 9% to 1.3 million in the year to June, while tourism spending jumped 10% to $2.3bn, with the average spend per international visitor climbing to $1,804.

Hobart also continued to lead the nation in housing growth, with average dwelling values increasing 11.5% in the year to November.

“Tasmanian house and apartment owners have enjoyed a boost in the value of their largest assets over the past year and MyState’s view is that positive housing and unit growth will continue well into the New Year. Tasmania is riding a wave of growth. There is a lot to celebrate and feel good about as we head into 2018.” Mr Harradine said.