State’s wildlife popular with Asian tourists

Tasmania Zoo owner Dick Warren feeds two cotton-top tamarins.

WILDLIFE sanctuaries are experiencing an influx of Asian tourists this summer, with international visitor numbers up in the state’s North.

Both Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary, at Mole Creek, and Tasmania Zoo, at Riverside, said foreign guests had flocked through the gates to catch a glimpse of Tasmania’s uniquely Australian wildlife collection.

Trowunna owner Androo Kelly said several factors had played a part in visitation numbers rising.

“This is the biggest December we’ve had in about five years,” he said.

“It’s definitely picked up.

“I don’t think the Chinese President’s visit has a lot to do with it – I think we’ll notice that in years to come – but the capacity of Launceston’s Airport is helping.

“Jetstar has increased flights into Launceston and there are now direct flights from Brisbane, which means there are more and more Queenslanders coming to visit.”

Tasmania Zoo owner Dick Warren said while international visitation was high, local visitor numbers were dropping.

“A lot of Asian tourists are visiting, but as far as Tasmanian visitors, it’s really down from last year,” he said.

Mr Warren said an overwhelming demand for new animals each year had hurt the zoo.

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