Quality TourismNov 6
Most of you think tourism is great for Hobart.
You like what tourists add to our culture and you enjoy the money they bring into the state. Directly or indirectly, we all benefit from it. But again and again, we heard a niggling worry. Could more hotels, more cars, more people make the place we live…less?
As our tourism industry grows you want to be sure we have limits, or at the very least know what the limits might be. How much will we allow ourselves to change? How will we protect what we love?
Once we invite the world, and the world is willing to come, on discount airlines and cruise ships, it’s impossible to say “Wait. We’re not ready!”
In our interviews, you told us that you want tourism that makes our city, and our community, better. One of you expressed it perfectly: “It shouldn’t just be for tourists. Locals love MONA too.”
Most of you like the idea of Airbnb; the opportunity to share ‘your Hobart’ with visitors while paying off the mortgage. However, you hate that it’s driving renters out of the city, making the inner suburbs unaffordable (or simply unavailable).
You told us you want authenticity – you want the waterfront to stay as a working port, not to simply become a tourist attraction.
We heard about aloof shopkeepers in Europe, people who enjoy and respect tourists while staying true to their culture. You don’t want to compromise your lifestyle to give others the trip-of-a-lifetime.
You talked about creating a long-term tourism industry based on quality not quantity, on experiences you can only find here, on our culture and natural beauty, on inviting people to live for a short time like a local: eating, drinking, walking, dancing, and celebrating like a Hobartian.
Those of you lucky enough to experience a Pennicott Wilderness cruise didn’t just talk about the boat ride. You smiled about the Barbecue Shapes and Tim Tams offered to passengers, a truly ‘Hobart’ gesture, and are proud that a percentage of the profits are used to protect wildlife.
You certainly don’t want to be taken advantage of by people looking for a quick buck.
When the expectation and experience don’t match, you end up with a situation that disappoints both tourists and locals. Ideally, you want visitors to leave wanting to come back, or even wanting to make Hobart their home.