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Published on : Wednesday, March 16, 2016
The expenditure was driven by a surge in Australian holiday-makers to the Territory in 2015, which saw a 29 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.
Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Adam Giles said the latest visitor statistics from Tourism Research Australia show the Territory is on track to reach the target of a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020 if current growth continues.
“2015 was a huge year for tourism in the Territory with a number of new marketing initiatives and programs including the Million Dollar Fish competition and our new ‘It’s About Time’ campaign while the global Land Rover Experience hit the Territory,” he said.
“We launched our $4.75 million Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund, which is delivering new improved tourism products on the ground, we had the TODAY Show broadcast live from Kakadu for the first time and we had the first ever Astronomeet in Central Australia.
“While the signs are encouraging, there is still more work to be done to push visitors to get off the beaten track and discover more of our spectacular regions.”
For the year ending December 2015, the Northern Territory received 1.6 million visitors, up 20 per cent. Holiday makers make up the bulk of these visitors with 792,000 people holidaying in the NT last year, up 21 per cent.
As well as spending more, holiday makers also stayed longer, with total holiday nights up 12 per cent to 4.9 million nights.
While international holiday visitors remained on an upward trend, increasing by 5.4 per cent, the great result for 2015 was largely driven by a significant spike in domestic visitors, which last year reached 551,000, only 1000 lower than the peak recorded in 2007.
“This shows our Do the NT brand and marketing campaigns are having a real effect on Australians and delivering more holiday bookings to the NT than we’ve seen in years,” Mr Giles said.
Other highlights from the National Visitor Survey released today for the 12 months to December 2015 include:
· Total visitors to the NT – up 20 per cent to 1.3 million
· Total nights to the NT – up 27 per cent to 8.3 million
· Total expenditure in the NT – up 7 per cent or $100 million, to $1.5 billion.
Mr Giles said the Northern Territory outperformed all other jurisdictions in 2015 to record the highest growth in domestic visitors.
“Conditions are ripe for domestic tourism at the moment and it’s fantastic to see so many Aussies choosing the Northern Territory as their holiday of choice,” he said.
“Today’s results are also a strong indicator our Million Dollar Fish campaign helped lure more Australians to the NT during the first three months of the competition with fishing holidays to the NT for the December 2015 quarter jumping from 7000 to 20,000 compared to the same period in 2014.
“Also last year saw more Territorians holiday in their own backyard with our co-operative promotions ‘Do the Top End’ and ‘Do the Red Centre’ run in conjunction with our Regional Tourism Organisations delivering a 44 per cent increase in intra-Territory holiday visitors to the Top End and a 22 per cent increase in the Red Centre.