Tourism in Central Australia is set for a boost with the announcement that nearly $5-million is to be spent promoting the region to Australian-based visitors.
The Northern Territory Government confirmed yesterday (Monday) that is it bolstering a $3.5-million Commonwealth tourism grant with a further $1.25-million from territory coffers.
This funding will promote Central Australian packages with a ‘Mates Rates’ incentive to reduce the cost of tourism experiences in the area. This activity is expected to stimulate $10-million in retail spending across Alice Springs and the Lasseter region.
‘Summer Sale’ concept boosts Red Centre
According to the NT Government statement, there are a range of tourism marketing activities are in the pipeline for Central Australia this year.
“One success story which has bolstered visitation to the Red Centre is the $5-million NT Summer Sale. The program has already attracted more than 4,000 bookings, worth $15.5-million in gross sales – with 53 percent of [those] reservations booked in Central Australia,” it said.
The Central Australian tourism region includes Alice Springs, Uluru, Kata Tjuta and the MacDonnell Ranges.
Local tourism industry’s ‘darkest days’
Patrick Bedford, Chair of Tourism Central Australia, said the local industry was facing down its darkest days because of the pandemic and the impact it has had on visitation.
“This funding will provide a much-needed shot to the arm for our industry and morale booster at a time when it is needed most. A visit to Central Australia will always remain a must-do experience full of adventure, culture and amazing natural landscapes.
“Tourism Central Australia thanks the Northern Territory Government for this financial support at a time when operators need it most,” Bedford said.
Over half of Australians want a road trip
Consumer research by Tourism Australia in October 2020 revealed 55 percent of Australian travellers are intending to take an interstate road trip in the next 12 months, of which 27 percent would now choose to travel by road.
Recent tourism studies have also indicated that the most desired road-trip experiences included visiting regional areas and small towns, participating in outdoor adventure activities and visiting new destinations.
“According to the National Visitor Survey, approximately one million Australian travellers (975,000) took part in an Indigenous tourism experience in 2019, a figure that has climbed each year over the past few. In 2018, 761,000 trips involved participation in an Indigenous experience, a 28 per cent increase from 2018 to 2019,” Tourism Australia said.