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Million Dollar Fish's contribution to the Territory

  • 17 April 2020
Man holding fish that he caught
The economic contribution for the Territory Government’s Million Dollar Fish program has been released following a study undertaken by Deloitte Access Economics, on behalf of Tourism NT.

Undertaken during Season 4 of the Million Dollar Fish campaign, statistics show that total visitor expenditure including Territorians, interstate and international visitors amounted to almost $31 million. Territorians spent the majority, with a total of $20.3 million, while interstate and international visitors spent $10.7 million.

The spend directly attributed to the Million Dollar Fish campaign was estimated at $7.2 million, with $6.5 million spent in the Top End and $660,000 spent in the rest of the Northern Territory. Top End locals also took the most number of fishing trips, with an average of 11 day trips and five overnight trips.

Million Dollar Fish Season 4 also contributed a total of $3.33 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) and supported a total of 32 full time equivalent jobs, noting the total GVA of tourism in the NT for 2017-18 was $2.2 billion with 17,100 jobs supported.

The study also analysed the social impact on consumers, business operators and the community, as well as the specific visitor market attracted to the NT for fishing. Of interstate and international visitors surveyed 40% travelled to the Top End specifically to take part in Million Dollar Fish Season 4, with 34% of visitors surveyed saying they changed the timing of their trip to the Top End to coincide with the competition.

A total of 85% of locals and visitors who registered and went fishing for the Million Dollar Fish competition were either very satisfied or satisfied, with nearly all participants (98%) indicating they were likely to participate in the competition again. 

Overall NT business operators were favourable towards the competition with the majority reporting a sense of pride at being involved in the competition; more than 60% agreed it was a good marketing campaign for the NT, and more than two thirds of operators agreed that the Million Dollar Fish competition should continue each year.

At a community level, nine out of ten Territorians are aware of the Million Dollar Fish campaign with one in five having participated in the competition. Three quarters surveyed agree the MDF competition helped drive visitation to the NT.

The study also looked closely at the visitor market drawn to visit the NT to go fishing and most likely to participate in the competition, which represents around 19% of the NT holiday market. The visitor market is relatively young (aged between 18 to 35 years) with 60% from New South Wales and Victoria.

The study shows the Top End as a high quality fishing destination, with almost all visitors (99%) likely to go fishing in the Top End during their holiday, and the majority (91%) likely to visit the Top End to go fishing.

Full details of the Million Dollar Fish report summary and further research studies developed by Tourism NT can be viewed under Topical Research.

Page last updated on 17 April 2020