It’s now 12 months since the Spirit of Tasmania began using Geelong as its port on the mainland … and the move from Melbourne has been declared a huge success.
Many grey nomads have expressed their relief at no longer having to fight Melbourne traffic to use the service, and their satisfaction at the standard of facilities and general ease of use of the new terminal.
And that has all translated into extra use.
A record number of passengers, 450,012, sailed during the 2022-23 Financial Year, which included more than 213,766 passenger vehicles and 106,578 TEUs (freight) crossing the Bass Strait.
Initial economic estimates show that the service has brought a $21 million tourism boost to the Greater Geelong and Bellarine region.
Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine Executive Director, Tracy Carter, said the collaboration with Spirit of Tasmania has been incredibly positive for the local visitor economy.
“Mobility data shows that visitors who arrive via Spirit of Tasmania tend to stay longer in our region, venture further and spend more generously compared to the average,” she said. “Over a 12-month period, overnight visitors spent approximately $2.3 million, while day trip passengers injected $18.7 million.”
Geelong Port Chief Executive Officer, Brett Winter, said the boost in visitor expenditure was exceeding initial projections.
“The uplift in visitor spend since Spirit of Tasmania’s move to Geelong is on track to exceed the initial projections of $57.3 million by 2030,” he said.
And Spirit of Tasmania’s Acting CEO, John McGrath, was confident that things were only going to get better.
“We’re even more excited about the future with two new larger vessels arriving in 2024 to replace our current fleet,” he said. “The increased number of passengers travelling in both directions presents a huge opportunity for the tourism industry here in Victoria and in Tasmania.”
Are you a Grey Nomad member yet? Click here to find out about the discounts, competitions and other benefits on offer.