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Too early to say if cheap flights having an impact

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Tourism operators in Tasmania are reporting an uptick in business over the long weekend but say it's too early to tell if that's a direct result of the federal government's $1.2 billion cheap flights package.

Burnie, Devonport, Launceston and Hobart are among 18 destinations listed for 800,000 subsidised airfares which went on sale last week, designed to encourage Australians to holiday at home and cushion the blow from the loss of Job Keeper. 

CEO of West by North West Tom Wootton believes the good weather played a part over Easter as well.

"We're starting to see a bit of an uptick in visitation which is exciting. It's hard to know at this time how much that's been influenced by the half-price flights, but suffice to say we are seeing both interstate and intrastate visitors back in venues which is just great," he said. 

There's also the 'Bring Your Car For Free' promotion on the Spirit of Tasmania, which has been swooped on by holiday-goers worried about a severe shortage of hire vehicles in the state.

Mr Wootton admits it's balancing act.

"The rental car issue is certainly a discussion that's being had in a robust way around the state. We like to see investment into these half-price flights because it's not just about getting the numbers in, it's also about creating the awareness. But of course if people can also access [the regions] via the now subsidised ferry crossing with TT-line, that's just fantastic and gives another alternative.

"The other one which is probably lesser known at this stage is getting Tasmanians to register on carnextdoor.com.au - a new sharing platform whereby Tasmanians can make their own unused cars, if indeed they have one, available for visitors to use.

"There's no silver bullet here I think. It's just a matter of making sure that all of our channels are open, available, working and being pushed. That'll help us ride it out."  

 Image: Pixabay