A new tourism strategy released by the NT Government will focus on developing the Greater Darwin region over the next decade by highlighting what assets are attracting visitors and what needs to be done to expand them.
The Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade has released the final regional Destination Management Plan (DMP) for the Greater Darwin, outlining its plans for sustainable tourism growth and follows the DMP for Alice Springs and the MacDonnell Ranges, Barkly, Big Rivers, Lasseter and East Arnhem Land.
The Greater Darwin region – covering more than 30,000 square kilometres – includes Darwin and Palmerston, travel spots in Litchfield and Mary River National Parks, Fogg Dam, Adelaide River, Dundee Beach, Wagait Beach and the Tiwi Islands.
Tourism and Trade deputy chief executive Scott Lovett said the Greater Darwin region will continue to attract local and foreign travellers due to its world-class nature and wildlife.
“Destination Management Planning underpins a holistic plan for tourism growth, future development and investment during this decade, enabling a coordinated approach to tourism between business, government, the tourism industry and communities,” Mr Lovett said.
The challenge for the NT is how to encourage visitors year-round, the government identified.
“By investing in domestic and international markets we can build awareness of experiences and attractions,” Mr Lovett said.
The DMP explores the advantages of each region, providing a “roadmap” for future tourism development and investment, a key action under the NT’s Tourism Industry Strategy 2030, the government said.
Stakeholders from the Darwin regions, Coomalie, Palmerston and Tiwi Islands participated in developing the DMP.
“The Greater Darwin region DMP, along with the suite of regional DMPs, address challenges to tourism development as well as opportunities for Territory tourism, including developing market pathways to enable access and visitation,” Mr Lovett said.
Darwin City Mayor Kon Vatskalis said visitors come to Darwin because the city is unlike any other in Australia.
“They expect tourist experience with a distinct Darwin flavour,” he said. “Tourists come here to gain a real understanding of the culture, lifestyle and landscape of Australia’s northern-most capital. I endorse the Greater Darwin region DMP because it will be a vital tool in helping to grow the true potential of Darwin as a tourist destination.”
The DMP lists the tourism advantages of Greater Darwin as:
- Geographic location, being far north, makes it a very attractive destination for travellers between Australia and Asia. It is a gateway for visitors going throughout the NT;
- The regions have a tropical environment and a relaxed lifestyle. It is inviting to visitors wanting to escape colder climates;
- It has a high quality and accessible nature and wildlife experiences;
- The regions offer diverse multicultural experiences with year-round celebrations that provide opportunities to learn and engage with a diverse local culture.
- the region comprises the lands of the Larrakia, Tiwi, Wulna, Limilngan, Uwnmil, Kungarrakan and Awarai (Warai) people, providing unique connections for visitors to engage with Aboriginal people and culture, and a gateway to many remote Aboriginal communities and art centres across the Top End
The DMP also includes generic plans that lacked further explanation including to identify and “activate opportunities”, “prioritize product development” and address gaps to put in place a sustainable tourism sector for each region.
Hospitality NT CEO Alex Bruce said the DMP would help the tourism industry grow.
“Tourism and hospitality will continue to be a growth opportunity and contribute to the Territory’s recovery,” he said. “The plan includes some exciting new developments that will assist hospitality and tourism develop further.”