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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4 5Tourism NT Annual Report 2016-17 Tourism NT Annual Report 2016-17 Alastair Shields Chief Executive Officer 30 September 2017 From the Chair and CEO Introduction01 The Department of Tourism and Culture was formed in September 2016, and it brings together the former Departments of Sport and Recreation, Arts and Museums, Parks and Wildlife with Tourism NT, The Darwin Waterfront Corporation, Northern Territory Major Events Company and the Heritage Division from the former Department of Lands, Planning and Environment. The legal entity which is Tourism NT is unchanged, however a number of functions, such as Corporate and Secretariat have been centralised within the Department. In bringing these functions together, the Territory Government wishes to see a more streamlined, coordinated and integrated approach. This has created a number of opportunities to influence the development of new tourism product. Tourism is an incredibly important economic driver for the Territory, with its share of the economy at five percent for direct Gross Value Added in 2015-16; the highest of all jurisdictions. Another positive year in 2016-17 saw five percent growth in the total number of visitors for all purposes to the Northern Territory, and a total expenditure of $2.5 billion. Overall, there was a 5.7 percent of growth in holiday visitation across the Territory. Looking at the regional breakdown, Central Australia saw a 5.9 percent growth in combined domestic and international holiday visitation, while the Top End increased by just 2.0 percent. We acknowledge that there is a twospeed economy between the regions and endeavour to address this as a priority over the following year. Tourism NTs domestic marketing efforts saw continued success, launching the next phase of the highly successful Do the NT campaign Stop Guessing, Start Doing. This phase brought together the active imagery of Do the NT and the urgency of Its about Time with a new element that highlights the value and variety of offerings in the NT. Targeted brand campaigns focused on millennials, events and the highly anticipated second season of the Million Dollar Fish. Cooperative campaigns with distribution partners strengthened our brand activity, offering attractive sale fares, deals and packages. Between the illuminating Parrtjima A Festival in Light and the immersive installation Field of Light Uluru by internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro, Central Australia gained significant attention nationally and internationally, and saw a 12 percent increase in visitation. We are thrilled that both of these unique displays will continue in 2018. Well on-track to achieve our Tourism Vision 2020 goal, initiatives were developed and implemented to support the future performance and longevity of the sector. The launch of a number of exciting projects enhanced business sustainability and our partnership approach with industry. The Digital Leap workshops saw 140 operators gain digital marketing skills, while over 100 updated their business listings through our Digital Assets Program. Our China Ready programs were also well received with over 40 businesses now accredited. Building on our efforts to improve on-ground experiences for visitors, the free WiFi hotspot network was expanded. Further investment into infrastructure and experience development was stimulated by various tourism infrastructure grant programs and innovative strategic product initiatives. Robust engagement directly with airlines and in cooperation with partners has significantly advanced a new potential direct aviation link between Darwin and China. While we have seen positive results this year there is no denying we face ongoing challenges. Aviation capacity, visitation from overseas markets, regional dispersal and Top End visitation continue to demand our attention. There is also the issue of the competitiveness and quality of the Territorys tourism experiences, which have seen little change over the past decade. Further to this, major projects in the Territory have a greater impact on our smaller communities and the challenge lies in balancing their impact as they near completion. As the construction phase of the INPEX project nears completion we are beginning to see business travel expenditure contract. We are also anticipating an impact on the visiting friends and relatives (VFR) market. To ensure we remain on-track to achieve our 2020 targets our efforts are concentrated on boosting the holiday market. Tourism NT remains dedicated to working with all key stakeholders to enhance the sector. Our strategic focuses going forward include: aviation route development, with specific attention on gaining direct flights from China; targeted domestic campaigns that leverage drawcard events in the Territory; working with industry to grow awareness of the Territory; and investment into nationally iconic tourism attractions, leveraging our strengths such as Aboriginal art and culture experiences, and military history. Michael Bridge Chair 30 September 2017 Thank you to our Board Members for the strategic advice and direction, our team of staff for their dedication and professionalism, and the industry for their investment and perseverance in pursuit of our shared goals. It is important that we build on current momentum and continue to develop new, improved and innovative tourism products that meet increasingly sophisticated and demanding visitor expectations. We are confident that ongoing collaboration will see continued progress and success of tourism across the Territory. M I C H A E L B R I D G E A L A S TA I R S H I E L D S