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Dispersing visitors beyond Darwin

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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

Dispersing Visitors Beyond Darwin 31 October 2011

MARTIN FERGUSON Minister for Resources and Energy Minister for Tourism

MALARNDIRRI McCARTHY Minister for Tourism Northern Territory Government

A new report by Tourism Research Australia shows that Darwin is increasingly being seen as a tourism destination in its own right but also urges residents of Darwin to encourage visitors to see more of the Top End beyond just the Territory’s capital.

The report found two-fifths of those visiting Darwin had come to visit friends and relatives, presenting opportunities for Darwin’s residents to promote trips further afield.

Visitors who did take day trips outside Darwin felt, in hindsight, an overnight trip would have been better due to the long travel times.

“Darwin residents hosting visiting family and friends are very well placed to offer ideas for itineraries throughout the Top End and to remind their guests how easy it is to stay overnight in places like Kakadu National Park,” said the Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP.

“Visitors to the Top End should be encouraged to go beyond the city limits and experience the unique tourism products this region has to offer; such as the beautiful waterfalls of Litchfield National Park, the cultural significance of Arnhem Land, and the amazing wildlife in Kakadu.

“By extending visits into regional areas, tourism operators beyond Darwin, including Indigenous enterprises, would earn higher revenue which would, in turn, spread the tourist dollar across the Top End.”

The Northern Territory Minister for Tourism, Malarndirri McCarthy, said Darwin’s traditional role as a base for visitors to experience remote areas was also changing.

“Darwin is increasingly becoming more of a destination in its own right. With the markets, the new waterfront precinct and attractions like Crocosaurus Cove giving visitors more to do around town, and frequent but shorter holidays becoming a trend,” Minister McCarthy said.

“But Darwin is also recognised as being a key gateway to some of the world’s most stunning natural landscapes - a fact recognised today by Lonely Planet who has listed Darwin as one of the world’s top ten destinations to visit in 2012.

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“Darwin’s residents can use word-of-mouth about Kakadu National Park and other attractions outside of the city to encourage visitors to experience the attractions our surrounding regions hold.”

In partnership with Tourism NT, the report gives the Territory a better understanding of visitors to Darwin and the surrounding region. The survey of more than 600 visitors found:

Darwin was seen as a destination to relax and recharge (79 per cent) and a destination for a short break or getaway (73 per cent). The Top End region was more likely to be seen as a destination for a longer trip (90 per cent), to see wildlife in its natural habitat (90 per cent) and to get close to nature (85 per cent).


Barriers for not dispersing beyond Darwin included not having enough time (49 per cent) and because they were visiting friends and relatives (36 per cent). • Barriers for dispersing on a day trip rather than an overnight trip included accommodation being

already booked in Darwin (19 per cent), perception that overnight trips did not represent good value for money (18 per cent) and day trips being recommended rather than overnight trips (18 per cent).


In the context of the Qantas dispute, the Ministers also welcomed the decision overnight by Fair Work Australia to terminate all industrial action saying it provided certainty for tourism operators and, most importantly for the tourism industry, allowed Qantas to resume flights.

TRA’s Destination Visitor Survey Dispersing Beyond Darwin is at

Media Contact:

Cathryn Tilmouth 0401 222 941 (Ferguson); Ursula Raymond (McCarthy) 0457 825 507

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