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Tourist support
Nanjing Night Net

IN response to the letter “Devonport closed” (Jan. 1), we operate a tourist business and know the difficulty in opening or not opening on public holidays. As I typed this letter on New Year’s Day there was one tourist using our facility.

The most we had had up to then were two concurrent visitors.

We make it a habit to be open every day except Christmas Day, but with little to no support from locals, visitors and tourists on public holidays, it is difficult to justify this.

We get our share of complaints on public holidays, too, the most common being “it is half this price in Melbourne”, to which I usually respond “if you get 100 of your mates to walk through the door today, in addition to our normal customers, I will halve the price”.

Tasmania simply does not have the number of tourists visiting to justify most businesses opening.

Granted, it is getting better.

Our business has seen an increase in turnover every year since June 2000, but we do not get the volume required.

If every shop in Devonport were to open on a public holiday, how many would turn a profit, let alone cover their costs?

From previous experiences, this does not happen on public holidays.

I am all for offering a service for visitors every day of the year, and wish more businesses would do the same, but realise that without the economic support from locals, tourists and people passing through, it is not economical.

Do the complainers operate a Tasmanian business seven days a week, 52 weeks a year?

We operate at a loss on public holidays purely to offer tourists something extra for their stay here. We have one volunteer who does every Sunday shift for us.

Without him, it would be near impossible to offer the service we do.

Hang in there, Tasmanian business owners – it is getting better.

– RUDOLPH, Cyber King Internet Lounge, Launceston.

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