The NT Government’s strong ongoing investment in the local visitor economy will flow right through the wider Territory economy TTF CEO Margy Osmond said today.
The 2019/2020 Budget handed down today included a $62.8 million funding increase for tourism marketing, major events and nature based and cultural experiences as well as a significant $563.3 million investment for transport infrastructure.
Ms Osmond welcomed the increase saying tourism runs right through the Territory’s veins, employing over 16,000 Territorians, contributing $2.1 billion in 2016-17 to the Territory’s economy, as well as $3.3 billion of consumption spending. Additionally, there are 6,000 Territorians employed in various transport related roles who are integral to keeping the NT moving.
“The NT boasts everything from natural and cultural wonders like Kakadu National Park and Uluru to the entertainment options in Darwin like the laid-back Mindil Beach markets and higher end restaurants. From backpacker and adventure tourism to glamping and top-class dining, there is something for everyone.
“With international visitation growing to almost 300,000 people a year and international spending increasing to $472 million annually, there is a strong future for tourism in the NT, provided policy settings remain focused. That is why additional funding as part of the ‘Turbo 2’ tourism package included in this Budget is so important.
“We encourage the NT Government to continue to work closely with the private sector to harness the latest technology and build and improve upon key transport infrastructure to make the Territory easier to visit and move around in for locals and visitors alike.
TTF welcomes additional funding measures including the NT Government supporting Commonwealth Government and Opposition commitments to Kakadu National Park with $135.5 million in funding to support the township of Jabiru as it transitions from a mining town to a tourism and regional services hub.
Commitments of $81.9 million to progress the National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs and improve additional NT galleries as well as $46.3 million to develop tourism opportunities in national parks will increase visitation and build on the current 57,000 extra holiday visitors that ‘Turbo 1’ helped attract.
TTF research report Supercharging Australia’s Future found that for every additional 1000 visitors to the NT, the tourism industry could be expected, on average, to generate 5.3 tourism related jobs, $975,000 in tourism consumption, $700,000 in Gross State Product contributions and $66,700 in tax contributions.
“Significant private sector investments are also highlighting strong business confidence in the NT visitor economy including Marriot International’s new $200 million Westin Darwin hotel scheduled to open on the waterfront in 2021 and Delaware North’s acquisition of the Mindil Beach Casino Resort in 2019,” she said.