The Northern Territory Government has recognised the potential for tourism to be the next key long-term economic driver of the NT economy with continuing strong investment in the sector in the 2018-19 Budget.
Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, said that despite the bleak fiscal outlook the NT Government’s investment in the visitor economy acknowledged tourism as an effective and sustainable way to transition from the mining economy.
“The Northern Territory Government has not been shy in acknowledging they are dealing with a slowing economy and are staring down the barrel of record net-debt and deficit, but TTF congratulates the Government on recognising that investing in tourism is the most effective and sustainable way to turn the economy around,” Ms Osmond said.
“Investing in destination marketing to allow Tourism NT to sell the Top End to Australia and the world is the most effective way to supercharge the Territory’s tourism potential, drive jobs growth and reverse the recent downturn in international visitor expenditure.
“It is very pleasing that through the $103 million Turbocharging Tourism package announced in 2017-18 and continuing into the 2018-19 budget year the Government will have invested $26.6 million over two years to deliver more targeted marketing campaigns and secure lucrative business events.
“TTF also welcomes the $52.5 million commitment to establish new tourism infrastructure, $24.5 million to develop and enhance the existing festival program and close to $35 million to rejuvenate Darwin and Alice Springs’ town centres.
“This will be incredibly vital in ensuring the NT is not left behind in capitalising on the current Asian travel boom.”
Ms Osmond said the 2018-19 Budget also continued the Government’s investment in critical road infrastructure.
“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 $626 million to upgrade roads and transport infrastructure, including $76 million to continue upgrading the Arnhem Highway on the Adelaide River floodplain.”