Territory Stories

Budget Paper No.6 1997/98 Northern Territory Economy



Budget Paper No.6 1997/98 Northern Territory Economy

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Tabled Paper 3223


Tabled Papers for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT; Tabled Papers




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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facilities developed by the Northern Territory Government, combined with the relative proximity of the park to Darwin. Visits to Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge and Edith Falls) declined by 15.3% in 1996, after substantial growth in the previous two years. The number of visitors to Kakadu declined 5.4% in 1996, after a slight decline of 1.9% in 1995 and a sharp increase of 44.7% in 1994. Other excellent parks in the Centre, such as Glen Helen Gorge Nature Park, Ormiston Gorge and Pound National Park, Watarrka National Park and Finke Gorge National Park also received a significant number of visitors during this period. Cruise ship visits to Darwin are a significant component of the Territorys tourism industry as these visitors tend to spend more and their visits are spread throughout the year. The number of cruise ship visits to Darwin is expected to double over the next five years. The key constraint to tourism in the Territory is the significant distance between tourist attractions and centres within the Territory. It is therefore imperative to provide an efficient, affordable and accessible transport infrastructure for tourists. The Territory Governments commitment to the upgrading of tourist roads continued throughout 1996, the Upper Finniss River Bridge on the Litchfield Park Road was sealed in time for the 1997 tourist season. This will provide year round access to the waterfalls of Litchfield. The final stage of sealing for the Kakadu Highway was also completed which means that the Territory now has a high standard sealed road network to all the major tourist destinations. Although still gravel, the Mereenie Loop Road provides two wheel drive access between Kings Canyon and the West MacDonnell ranges. While activities associated with Aboriginal art/culture are by far the most popular activities for overseas visitors during their visits, bushwalking activities appeal to both interstate and overseas visitors. Scenic flights, 4 wheel driving, camel riding and fishing are also very popular among visitors to the Northern Territory. Visitor numbers for the Territory Wildlife Park, located 40 kilometres south of Darwin, have increased rapidly from 29 109 in 1989 to 105 055 in 1996. Ongoing development is still taking place at the Park in order to enhance opportunities to view the Territorys unique wildlife. The $20 million Alice Springs Desert Park opened in March 1997 featuring the Territorys desert habitat, a fascinating array of plants and animals as well as stories from Aboriginal culture. A Tourism Aviation Committee was formed after the Minister for Tourism publicly launched a Tourism Aviation Strategy in 1995. The primary role of this committee is to increase the international aviation capacity of the Northern Territory. During 1995-96, domestic air services to and from the Northern Territory increased 13% over the previous financial year while weekly international air services increased 11% over the same period. Seat capacity increased 6% for both domestic and international air services. Tourism 53