The Tourism & Transport Forum, Australia’s leading tourism and transport advocacy group, has welcomed the Northern Territory Government’s 2017-18 Budget, saying it provided the right investment for tourism to become a super-growth industry in the Top End and Red Centre.
TTF Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, said the strong investment in the visitor economy recognises tourism as the next key long-term economic driver of the NT economy.
“The Northern Territory Government has acknowledged it is dealing with a slowing economy, but TTF congratulates the Government on recognising that investing in the visitor economy is an effective and sustainable way to transition from the mining economy,” Ms Osmond said.
“TTF has been a vocal advocate of the advantages to the Northern Territory of investing in promoting its visitor economy and we are very pleased to see the NT Government listening to our message and making sound investments in the demand-driving infrastructure that will generate a strong economic return for the Territory.
“Prior to the Budget, TTF called on the Government to grow the Territory’s visitor economy by investing $8 million in additional funding to Tourism NT to supercharge the Territory’s tourism potential, drive jobs growth and reverse the recent downturn in international visitor expenditure.
“It is very pleasing to see this commitment has been made, alongside other critical investments in destination marketing and visitor infrastructure, including $13 million to support the operation of NT Major Events Company to attract big-ticket events and $50 million for a national Indigenous art gallery.”
Ms Osmond welcomed the NT Government’s commitment to allocate $5 million over two years to attract more tourists from the rapidly growing Indian and Chinese tourism markets.
“China is on track to overtake New Zealand as our biggest source of visitors some time later this year, and there is enormous potential to market NT as a must-visit destination,” Ms Osmond said.
“Good road and transport access is paramount for visitors being able to access many of the Territory’s jaw-dropping tourism assets and it is great to see $733.5 million to upgrade roads and transport infrastructure, including $78 million to continue upgrading the Arnhem Highway on the Adelaide River floodplain.”