… in the same amount of time it takes many to make their morning commute”.

And you might say, who can blame it after “a big year for a little island”. Tourism Tasmania, boasts of its Lonely Planet accolade as one of the best regions to visit in 2015, along with 10 gold awards at the prestigious Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.
TT boss John Fitzgerald is positively glowing about Tasmania’s success. “A light is currently shining on Tasmanian tourism as a record number of Australian and overseas visitors discover the surprising array of natural, heritage, cultural and gourmet experiences we have in such a compact holiday destination,” he said.

“With so many of this year’s Australian Tourism Award winners coming from Tasmania, it only confirms the quality of our operators and their ability to create and deliver uniquely Tasmanian holiday experiences that their guests will want to talk about long afterwards. I urge everyone to get down here as soon as they can, and find out for themselves why Lonely Planet ranked Tasmania as the fourth best region in the world to visit during 2015.“

Describing the island’s assets as, “like nothing else in Australia, TT says, “They are raw. They are real. And they play out in a wilderness playground built for them.”

Tasmania’s gold awards were for:
Australian Tourism Legend: Robert Pennicott
Major Tourism Attractions: Port Arthur Historic Site
Tourist Attractions: Bruny Island Cruises
New Tourism Development: Tasmanian Seafood Seduction
Ecotourism: Bruny Island Cruises and Hall of Fame
Heritage and Cultural Tourism: Port Arthur Historic Site
Major Tour and/or Transport Operators: Par Avion Wilderness Tours
Excellence in Sustainable Tourism: Pennicott Wilderness Journeys and Hall of Fame
Business Tourism: The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel
Tourism Education and Training: Kingthing Marketing

Addressing some of the specific awards, Tourism Tasmania explained: “News of Port Arthur Historic Site’s awards might signal a ‘been there’ destination but new experiences and stories can be found in the footprints inside the penitentiary’s cells, circled around the newly instated fountain and bravely on the late night paranormal tour.

“As for Par Avion, this modest fleet have flown visitors to some of the most remote corners of Tasmania. Touching down on a gravel airstrip may not be the norm, nor is watching your pilot become your boat captain. Versatile characters and far flung wilderness reaches are what Par Avion do best.

“Rob Pennicott is a name synonymous with Tasmanian tourism success. But his unassuming beginnings, as a fisherman eagerly showing his coastline to an interested few, is testament to the underpinning fervour that elevates him to national acclaim today. He continues to deliver new and exciting product with his new Tasmanian Seafood Seduction tour collecting a gold award alongside four other golds.

“It is little wonder Pennicott was named Australian Tourism Legend. He’s eradicated feral cats from Tasman Island and hopped in a little yellow boat, venturing up the coast of Australia in the name of wiping out Polio. What’s more he’s committed to sustainability, conservation and humanitarian projects through the Pennicott Wilderness Journey’s Nature Conservation Fund.  But you’ll still get a salty handshake and welcoming smile from the man when he’s on the boat.

“Other gold awards takers included The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel, an ever-popular mainstay for the business traveler and Launceston-based Rebecca King, who single-handedly came up trumps for her tourism education and training skills.

“We can’t help but quietly pump our collective fists in celebration of all these recent awards.”