Tourism is a cornerstone of the Northern Territory economy, supporting thousands of small and medium size businesses and 15,600 direct and indirect jobs across a range of sectors including tourism, hospitality, retail, arts and culture, and transport.
The Northern Territory Government's initial $103 million Turbocharging Tourism investment, implemented in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 financial years, enabled an important, strategic step to attract more holiday tourists and business event travellers to the Territory. TURBO2, an additional $62.8 million extension of Turbocharging Tourism, was announced to build on the significant momentum and outcomes of the initial package.
The initial Turbocharging Tourism investment exceeded its target, attracting more holiday visitors and business event travellers to the Territory. The investment delivered:
- more than 57,000 additional holiday bookings resulting in $70 million into the economy
- new aviation services, including Donghai Airlines’ China-Darwin service, additional Jetstar Asia and SilkAir services between Singapore-Darwin, new Virgin Australia services between Brisbane-Alice Springs and Darwin-Bali, Airnorth twice-weekly Gold Coast-Darwin flights and a new Qantas Darwin-Uluru-Adelaide service
- 38 business events and conferences bringing more than 12,000 business delegates and more than $29 million into the economy, with most events occurring in 2019
- $11.6 million in private investment through the $3 million Visitor Experience Enhancement Program, allowing 115 tourism-related businesses to improve their visitor experience.
The TURBO2 package aimed to deliver more investment into domestic and international marketing and continued support for events and festivals:
- $27.7 million extra over two years to boost co-operative marketing, promoting the Territory nationally and internationally
- $20 million extra over two years for major events and community festivals across the Territory, recognising their importance to liveability, tourism and local jobs
- $15.1 million extra over two years to enhance visitor experiences in our Parks and through our arts and cultural offerings and to support tourism operators to improve visitor experiences.
Meanwhile, the $53.74 million investment in tourism infrastructure from Turbocharging Tourism initiatives included:
- the new George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens visitor centre, which opened in September 2019
- new camping grounds and swimming holes at Litchfield National Park
- preservation and enhancement works at the Hermannsburg Historical Precinct
- expansion of walking tracks at Nitmiluk National Park
- revitalisation of the visitor experience in Tennant Creek
- opening up new cycling adventures on the Red Centre Ride
- new walking experiences at Watarrka National Park.