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Mice Net : October 2008
tasmania incentive isle story By Brad Foster Infrastructure growth and new product has tasmania emerging with a new lease of life, and the incentive travel sector is one market it believes it can woo. at the end of many conferences in Tasmania it’s not uncommon for delegates to pack themselves and their families into a hire car and take some time out for touring this destination of contrasts. A new CEO at the helm of the Tasmanian Convention Bureau, along with some exceptional product in the wings, and Tasmania really does appear to have a new lease of life. Another strong advocate of Tasmania’s potential, and one of the largest employers in Tasmania, Federal Group, is also up-beat on the destination’s potential. Group direct of sales of Federal Group, Peter Grace, believes that Tasmania has the potential of becoming the incentive capital of Australia. He believes that the Australian incentive market does not really know what Tasmania has got in terms of incentive travel product. On a recent sales visit to Sydney, Tasmania Convention Bureau CEO, Denise Bradley, agreed. “We believe there are some very big opportunities in the convention and incentive travel markets,” she says. “With the last few [familiarisation] groups that have come to Tasmania there has been a real challenge to try and fit in all the things [activities] that they have wanted to do.” T asmania has always had great appeal for the corporate and association meetings segment thanks to its quality product, ease of access, and family-friendly touring options. Indeed, She said that prior to visiting they were of the opinion that there wasn’t enough to keep groups occupied. And the options, both in terms of activities “beyond the ballroom” and in the accommodation sector, look set to grow even further in coming years with an estimated $300 million of investment likely to go ahead. “There’s great enthusiasm right now,” Ms Bradley says. “We are seeing a lot of new innovations, new plans.” Quite a number of these are coming from the Federal Group, which continues to reinvest its money into Tasmania. Already operating facilities including Wrest Point, the Country Club Tasmania, Strahan Village, Freycinet Lodge, Cradle Mountain Chateau and The Henry Jones Art Hotel on Hobart’s waterfront, the Federal Group was planning to make a big announcement about an exciting new development at the time of going to press. Without giving too much away this latest project will position Tasmania as a very real contender for the high-end incentive travel market. (Stay tuned for further details in the next edition of mice. net magazine). Additionally, the Federal Group is also working on another project that will only strengthen its already large offering. But right now, Tasmania is a state of action. A younger, enthusiastic Freycinet Lodge, Tasmania. Photo courtesy of Tourism Tasmania and Pure Tasmania. mice.net 109