Sir – Figures released [yesterday] show the Northern Territory now has a two speed tourism economy, with the Top End remaining strong while Central Australia is faltering.
Central Australia failed to attract visitors despite the Northern Territory recording a year on year increase of domestic visitors in Australia by 21 per cent, or 1.08 million visitors.
Figures released by Tourism Research Australia for the year ending September 2012 show that, while places in the Top End like Darwin, Kakadu and Arnhem have enjoyed increases of 13% and 29%, the majority of regions within Central Australia had recorded significant declines in visitation.
The former Labor Government’s concentration was mostly across the Top End, with an absolute failure to address issues which could have prevented a double digit decline to visitor numbers in the Alice Springs region, which are down 13 per cent.
I am confident that a new marketing strategy for the first six months of next year is a solid step towards righting this situation.
The Northern Territory is one product and for the industry to really receive a boost, it must flourish in all regions.
Despite the Northern Territory welcoming both more interstate (up 15%) and Territorian (up 31%) travelers, a fall in international visitation over the period is a cause for concern in the tourism industry.
In an attempt to turn this around, Tourism NT has reviewed its direction and introduced new short and long term strategies.
An additional $2 million from within the existing Tourism NT Budget will be directed towards conversion-focussed international marketing activity including digital and social media programs and a Northern Territory stopover campaign to attract young people and working holiday makers.
The new board of commissioners will set a new direction for tourism in the Territory with a vision to create a more prosperous industry.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events