Gunner Government pledges $5 million to attract interstate tourists as industry struggles continue

by | Sep 21, 2020 | Business | 0 comments

By Zoe Moffatt

The Gunner Government will give Aussies looking to holiday in the Territory 20 per cent off their trip – if they spend $1000 – as part of their new “biggest summer tourism campaign ever”.

The campaign will see travellers to the NT receive a discount of $200 for every $1000 they spend up to a maximum of a $1000 discount, which can be used for booking flights, accommodation, tours and attractions or a hire vehicle.

The new scheme is valued at $5 million and aims to help the struggling NT tourism industry.

Tourism NT reported two million people visited the NT last year, spending $1,294 on average, which equates to $2.59 billion in visitor expenditure for the Territory.

The government said the “unprecedented” summer tourism campaign makes the NT an attractive destination for holiday makers and aims to increase tourism in the usually quieter months – which is expected to be even worse this year due to the pandemic.

Tourism Minister Natasha Fyles acknowledged tourism operators had been hit “hard” but claimed this “campaign will help drive visitation to the NT in what is our traditionally low period.”

“If you’re considering visiting the NT, our message is clear. All Australians not located in a current hotspot are welcome to come to the Territory,” she said.

To qualify for the cash, bookings must be made through government partners that have yet to be fully disclosed

The bookings and travel must take place between October 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 and need to be booked through selected government partners which include; Holidays of Australia, Helloworld and Flight Centre.

The government did not release a complete list of partners.

CLP Opposition spokeswoman for Tourism Marie-Clare Boothby said the CLP welcomes tourism campaigns but added that the government needs to do more work on reducing red tape.

“The CLP Opposition welcomes initiatives to encourage visitation from COVID safe areas,” Ms Boothby said. “However, the Gunner Government must also recognise the red tape constraints placed on small businesses and work to ease those burdens”.

Coronavirus lockdowns earlier in the year saw the $1.2 billion industry drop 33 per cent in March, according to Tourism Research Australia. NT Chamber of Commerce CEO Greg Ireland told the ABC this downfall was equal to $40 million in losses in March alone.

Following this, the Government unveiled a $5.2 million Territory tourism voucher scheme in June for locals, which ends October 31.

The scheme saw 26,000 vouchers worth $200 claimed by Territorians in just nine hours.

The Gunner Government have previously claimed the vouchers generated more than $8.6 million to the economy with more than 21,000 vouchers redeemed.

It’s expected two more rounds of vouchers each worth $5 million will take place November 1 and February 1.

The new summer tourism campaign follows Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s announcement earlier this month that the greater Sydney region will no longer be considered a hotspot from October 9, provided no new coronavirus outbreaks.

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