Hobart’s ranking as one of 10 cities in the world to visit next year has been put down to the success of the Museum of Old and New Art – MONA – Travel guide Lonely Planet has San Francisco at the top of the list, with Hobart in seventh place ::::
“Hobart was actually nominated by our founder Tony Wheeler who referenced Bilbao in Spain, where the Guggenheim was established, as saying there’s another great example of where a significant piece or beacon attraction actually has created really significant tourist and traveller numbers.”
Mr Zeiher says the list exposes potential travellers to emerging destinations. “It puts destinations that people potentially have not considered before onto the traveller radar. The big endorsement, particularly for international travellers, is what’s the big thing to come and actually see. So for people to be able to experience that massive thing in the first instance, they can then obviously do all the things that Hobart has to offer in terms of other opportunities and attractions.”
Tasmanian Tourism Industry Council spokesman Luke Martin says it is a great opportunity for the state.
Top 10 cities to visit next year
- San Francisco, US
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Hyderabad, India
- Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland
- Beijing, China
- Christchurch, New Zealand
- Hobart, Australia
- Montreal, Canada
- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- Puerto Iguazu, Argentina
“What this does is take it out to a global audience, for people to actually start seeing this happening and exciting place that is Tasmania and Hobart is just again lifting what we already know is happening at a national level to a global scale. It’s an incredible endorsement of our product and an incredible endorsement of the impact MONA’s having on Tasmania.”
Tasmania’s Tourism Minister Scott Bacon hopes the listing will boost an ailing industry. “The Government’s really focused on driving the events program in Hobart and around the state,” mr Bacon said.
Critic and commentator Leo Schofield has urged the Government to target the super rich to visit Hobart. Mr Schofield, who has lived in Tasmania for the past eight years, says the listing will not necessarily attract tourists at the top end of the market.
“The people that the Lonely Planet attracts tend to be younger and ‘backpackery’ and I think it’s the high-end tourists that we’d really love to have,” Schofield said. “The people who fly in in their private planes from Houston just to see MONA, I think that’s where the huge gap lies in the market.”
Destination Southern Tasmania spokesman Ben Targett says local tourism operators will be educated on how to deal with an increase in visitors. “The listing creates an expectation and that brings with it an obligation,” he said.
Hobart was one of only three cities nominated in the southern hemisphere; the others were Christchurch and a city in Argentina.
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