Total international and domestic visitors to the Northern Territory spent a whopping $1.85 billion in the NT for the year ending September 2014, according to new figures released this week.
“The 13 per cent increase in expenditure compared to the previous 12 months is the biggest spend by visitors to the NT in five years,” said Tourism Minister Matt Conlan.
“This is positive news for our tourism industry which has been doing it tough for the best part of a decade. It shows that we have turned the ship around and on track to meet our Tourism Vision target of a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020.”
The surge in expenditure comes on the back of a 14 per cent increase in spend by Australian visitors to the NT for the 12 months to September according to the latest figures by Tourism Research Australia’s National Visitor Survey (NVS).
The NVS also showed a 14 per cent increase in total domestic visitors to the NT for the same period to 1.059 million visitors.
“These are our best visitor numbers in five years and demonstrate that our Do the NT campaign is having an effect and cutting through to Australian holiday makers,” said Mr Conlan.
“The Territory was the only jurisdiction along with New South Wales and Victoria to increase its share of the key interstate holiday market (up 5.7% to 433,000), a significant achievement.
“This means our increased investment of $16 million into the tourism budget over the past two years along with our ‘always on’ digital strategy, brand partnerships with high-profile sporting clubs the Melbourne Demons, Adelaide United and Parramatta Eels and social media campaigns like our Mates of the Territory initiative are all helping to encourage people from right around Australia to Do the NT.
“And importantly, once they get here they are also staying longer with the latest NVS revealing visitor nights were also up by 16 per cent to 6.0 million and holiday nights up by 23 per cent to 2.4 million.
“Overall, combined international and domestic visitors to the NT increased 13 per cent to 1.34 million visitors for the 12 months to September this year.
“While this is a terrific result, we can’t relax. We know there is still much more work to do in order to repair a decade of Labor damage but, we’re in this for the long haul.”
According to the latest combined IVS and NVS results, increases were experienced across the Top End (up 7.7% to 406,000 holiday visitors) and Central Australia (up 1.3% to 332,000 holiday visitors). Darwin had a 12 per cent increase in combined holiday visitors to 331,000, while the flow on from the Darwin gateway saw Kakadu Arnhem up 17 per cent to 93,000 overnight visitors.
Other increases were to Alice Springs, up 4.9 per cent to 217,000, and Uluru which was up 1.3 per cent to 234,000.
Managing Director of SEIT Outback Australia in Uluru, Kathy Graham, said the latest figures represented what has been a busy year.
“This has been a bumper year – in fact, it’s probably the best season we’ve had for five years. I believe we’re up about 25-30 per cent,” said Ms Graham.
“And the season was a lot longer than normal – we usually slow-down in September, but this year it was the last week of November.”
The National Visitor Survey results follow the release of international statistics last week, which showed an increase of 8.5 per cent international visitors to the NT for the year ending September 2014.
More information on the NVS can be found at: http://www.tra.gov.au