Territory Stories

Annual Report 2016-2017 Tourism NT



Annual Report 2016-2017 Tourism NT

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Tabled paper 571


Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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38 39 Our Performance03 Tourism NT Annual Report 2016-17 Tourism NT Annual Report 2016-17 We secured $675,000 under the Australian Governments Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure Program in 2016-17 for projects that provide broad supply-side benefits in the NT. Nine projects were supported this year and included: Building two large exotic cat pens at Crocodylus Park in Darwin. Designing and constructing an open air shelter at Mercure Alice Springs Resort. Establishing a permanent base for Flash Camps operations in the Territory. WATERPARK FOR DARWIN We undertook an initial feasibility project into a new major waterpark development in Darwin of sufficient size and scale to attract visitors to the destination. Key findings of the report produced in early 2017 by AEC Group, were that a park could be financially viable, it would need wet and dry elements, a mix of local resident and visitors, and that a successful park will require somewhere between 4 and 24 hectares of land. Based on this project, the NT Government committed $500,000 in Budget 2017 to further advance the waterpark project. S T R AT E GY Grow the visitor economy by building on the NTs reputation for the delivery of quality authentic Indigenous cultural experiences. ABORIGINAL TOURISM ADVISORY COUNCIL (ATAC) Established in 2015 the ATAC advise on sustainable and prosperous Aboriginal tourism development opportunities across the Territory. The Council met four times throughout the year, including on-site meetings with Aboriginal tourism operators at Kakadu, Katherine, Yulara and Tiwi Islands. The Council also welcomed three new members who were appointed following an extensive expression of interest process across the NT. ATAC commenced the development of case studies within the NT Aboriginal tourism industry to assist with future Aboriginal tourism development. The Council has taken particular note of key issues affecting the further development of Aboriginal tourism businesses in the NT including skills development for the industry and governance training and performance. S T R AT E GY Build the experience base of our destination to meet visitor expectations and drive growth. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT Ninety-four projects were supported through the Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund Accelerator program, with a total project value of over $15 million. All projects are outlined in Appendix 1 (page 54), some of which included: $100,000 to Katherine Outback Experience to build a new outdoor amenities block and kitchen. $100,000 to Big 4 MacDonnell Range for a new cultural, entertainment and activities centre. $71,990 to Earth Sanctuary to support delivery of the Outback to the Future tour and Space Discovery centre. $13,363 to Outback Cycling in Alice Springs to purchase 14 new mountain bikes. $2.29 million in funding was provided for 45 Aboriginal business projects through the Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund. Projects included: Development of a cultural meeting place in Nitmiluk National Park. Staff accommodation at Melville Lodge on the Tiwi Islands. Upgrades to the Glen Helen Homestead Lodge in Central Australia. Improve the Visitor Experience The Outback Cycling team in front of their new shop in Alice Springs, with bikes purchased from a tourism grant Case Study Bombing of Darwin Harbour Experience By partnering with private sector and government entities, we triggered significant new investment in the Darwin tourism industry, adding a fresh and innovative tourist attraction to complement the existing suite of WWII tourism experiences. Given the trending growth of consumer interest in military heritage tourism, we conducted an expression of interest (EOI) process offering the under-utilised function centre on Stokes Hill Wharf to house a new tourist attraction that showcases the bombing of Darwin Harbour, along with an incentive of holographic and virtual reality content. The attraction opened in August 2016 and outcomes have exceeded expectations: The successful EOI proponent, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS): invested over $4 million in the attraction; added other technological elements to enhance and provide a broader experience; value-added to the offering by including its own heritage story and current day operations, providing visitors with more to see and do. An under-utilised government asset has been transformed and now generates sustainable rental income for the Waterfront Corporation. Business was created for local architects and builders, with 95 percent of the project sourcing local labour and materials. Fifteen new jobs were created for ongoing operations. Spin-off benefits have been generated for: retailers on the wharf given the anticipated 70,000+ annual visitors to the facility which will bring to life what has been quiet trading hours during the day; other WWII operators and attractions as the RFDS is cross- promoting their products; existing coach and small vehicle tour operators who can add this new experience to their itineraries; and suppliers such as caterers, lighting and staging specialists because the venue is offered as a unique location in which to hold night-time events. Additionally, the Bombing of Darwin Experience was awarded silver for creative and technical excellence in the use of visual effects and animation at the 2016-17 Animation Effects Award Festival in the 360 VR category. The virtual reality experience recreates the bombing of Darwin Harbour in 1942, bringing to life the drama and history of the bombing. This production is considered the pinnacle of movie production for virtual reality and is one of the first productions of its kind. FUTURE FOCUS Development of cornerstone infrastructure investment to drive demand and improve the Territorys global competitiveness. Catalyst infrastructure initiatives that support the broader industry and community such as a luxury hotel and waterpark in Darwin, and new hotel development in Alice Springs will be advanced through the year to an expression of interest phase where applicable. We will continue to work across the Department to progress visitor focused and private sector investment in infrastructure and experience development in the NT Parks estate, and with Parks Australia to increase tourism opportunities available to visitors at Kakadu National Park and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Standardised visitor surveys and methodology will also be established to enable benchmarking across all parks estate to identify areas for improvement and opportunity to collaborate. We will work closely with the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation to establish Aboriginal tourism businesses and will continue to market and promote the NTs quality authentic Aboriginal cultural experiences, with ATAC being consulted regarding Indigenous tourism developments in the Territory. Additional emphasis will be placed on transitioning established Aboriginal tourism businesses to be ready to export interstate or internationally. Plans are being advanced to deliver a new NT Aboriginal Tourism Strategy in 201718, as required under the Economic Development Framework. The Darwin Tourist Facility, home to the award-winning Bombing of Darwin Experience