The latest visitor data released by Tourism Research Australia shows that the tourism sector in the Northern Territory has recovered somewhat from the COVID-19 restrictions, although it is still more a third down on March 2020 before the borders closed, and with a return to 2018-2019 levels not predicted until 2023-24.
Date from April 2021, to March, shows domestic visitors in the Territory increased to 1.25 million, up by 40 per cent, with interstate markets rising by 51 per cent, from the corresponding 12 months before.
The data showed Territorians travelling within the NT for holidays went up by 19 per cent during the period in review.
However the data showed the domestic tourism was down 35 per cent from March 2020, and the overnight spend was down 36 per cent.
And spending was down in the NT from the March 2019 figure, but specifics were not given in the summary.
Figures for the 2020-21 season showed big drops because of the pandemic. The direct tourism gross state product in the NT for the year was $655,000,000, down by 24 per cent on 2019–20, and down 43 per cent on 2018–19.
The gross value added figure for the 2020-21 season was $1.2 billion, down 26 per cent compared with 2019–20, and down 46 per cent compared with 2018–19.
There were 10,700 people employed in tourism in the NT in the 2020-21 were down 13 per cent compared with 2019–20,and down 29 per cent compared with 2018–19.
The forecast figures had visitor night numbers going past the 2018-2019 figures in the 2023-24 financial year, with them sitting at about 85 per cent during the 2021-22 financial year, and 98 per cent in the 2022-2023 financial year.
Tourism and Hospitality Minister Nicole Manison said the most recent data domestic visitors staying longer and spending more per trip than during the pre-pandemic period.
“It is fantastic to see 1.25 million domestic visitors have spent $1.5 billion in the Territory. That is $1.5 billion going right back into the Territory economy. We know how important tourism is to the Territory – providing 12 500 jobs across the NT and injecting billions back into our local economy,” Ms Manison said.