Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 30 October 2012
Parliamentary Record 1
Debates for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Tuesday 30 October 2012 252 promoting what the Territory has to offer and showcasing 10 Territory businesses. Business events is one of the highest yielding sectors; on average when delegates stay for a conference in Darwin they stay seven nights and spend approximately $3465.00 per person. In Alice Springs they stay five nights and spend about $2050 per person. The value of business events is an important component of the tourism industry. Despite the positive impacts these visitors have on the Territory economy, there should be a focus on encouraging the visitor for a return to the leisure market and to come here for a holiday. The Chief Minister was a school principal so he would be particularly interested in the opportunities that have been identified for tourism in education, both of which are priorities for this government. There is a strong focus on learning Indigenous history in schools across Australia. This presents an opportunity to conduct this learning through excursions on location. To give you an idea of the size of this market, in 2011 there were 9435 schools in Australia and they tended well over 3.5m students. If we can attract primary and secondary school groups from the Northern Territory and interstate, tourism will receive a significant boost. The Northern Territory has a rich traditional culture and this can be used to provide a strong educational experience. Contrary to what the Leader of the Opposition was alluding to, we do take Indigenous tourism very seriously. We take all parts and sectors of tourism across the Northern Territory very seriously. Indigenous tourism has played a major role in that. We can reasonably expect to increase visitation to the Northern Territory, increase visitation to attractions and enjoy repeat visitation from schools. This is not going to be a walk in the park for us. The principal challenge we face is providing value for money. For interstate schools, the cost of reaching the Northern Territory can be prohibitive. As I said, it can be quite expensive to come to the Northern Territory. Even for schools within the NT the cost of travelling can be quite prohibitive, daunting and perhaps even unattainable for some schools. Tourism NT is working with the industry to address this considerable challenge and we will do everything we can to alleviate any of those stumbling blocks or hurdles so we can make this happen. Another potential growth area is the cruise industry. In 2011-12, 43 cruise ships visited Darwin; they carried over 50 000 passengers, the highest on record. An estimated $8m was spent in the Northern Territory by cruise travellers. The flow-on effects to Territory businesses are considerable. Cruise spend, refuelling and so on contributed to an estimated $55.5m, according to the Australian peak body Cruise Down Under. The cruise industry globally is now experiencing a period of rapid growth, especially in Australia. Tourism NT is aiming at the cruise market overall and believes Darwin and the Top End are ideally situated to attract cruise ships visiting the northern part of Australia and those venturing into Southeast Asia and beyond. Tourism NT is currently going through the process of assessing quotes to develop a feasibility study that will build a business case to attract small to medium cruise ships with up to 500 passengers to home base their operations in Darwin for all or part of the year, utilising the Territorys existing marine and tourism infrastructure. It expects to award a tender in the coming days - that is my advice. The study is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2012. Following that, it will be putting a case to the cruise companies to make Darwin a home base. I, as minister, will be doing everything I can to ensure our cruise ship industry is once again invigorated, lifted, and Darwin becomes a major port for our cruise market. There is a good reason why the decision was made to link the portfolio of Tourism with Major Events, as Major Events contributes handsomely to the tourism dollar. On Saturday, 20 October, I had the honour of officially closing the 14th Alice Springs Masters Games. It is always a little sad to close the games but, nevertheless, it was great to be there as the Sports minister to do that. Mr TOLLNER: A point of order, Madam Speaker! Pursuant to Standing Order 77, I seek an extension of time for my good friend, the member for Greatorex. Motion agreed to. Mr CONLAN: The Alice Springs Masters Games was a wonderful event. The town of Alice once again experienced the influx of nearly 4000 participants from interstate and overseas, many accompanied by support teams, friends and family. There was, of course, a huge Territory component as well. Events like the Masters Games, the Finke Desert Race and the V8 Supercars are all hugely popular. They draw crowds, put money into the coffers of local businesses, and attract national and international publicity. I have taken some time to explain why tourism is so important to the Territory. This is just part of the story of the Northern Territory, as they used to say. The shape of things to come was another old jingle for a Toyota commercial - the Toyota
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