Realising the potential of tourism in Northern Australia

29 February 2016

Northern Australia has some of our most iconic and spectacular tourist attractions - its remoteness, ruggedness and sheer beauty are unique and places such as Kakadu National Park and Kimberley Gorge are key drawcards.

However, while the tourism industry in Australia is thriving, the industry in northern and western Australia is not fully benefitting from this growth.

Today we announced our Northern Australia Tourism Initiative which will greatly assist tourism businesses to develop and capitalise on the flood of tourists arriving on our shores.

This program to assist tourism businesses is one of many positive outcomes from the Government's White Paper on Developing Northern Australia; Our North, Our Future.

The Initiative combines the Entrepreneurs' Programme with the Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) program to assist tourism businesses with advice and to help them flourish.

Encouraging tourists to travel beyond our cities and into our rural and regional areas to discover icons such as Kakadu National Park is something the Turnbull Government is focusing on, as is greater connectivity to these areas.

Northern Australia is steeped in indigenous culture and the potential of indigenous tourism is yet to be realised - this is a key future growth area that Tourism Australia is developing as a drawcard for international visitors.

Indigenous tourism experiences have been identified as an important driver for international tourism which is why it's an important part of our There's Nothing Like Australia marketing campaign.

During the Tourism Minister's Meeting in Perth this month agreement was reached between all of the states and territories to further work on encouraging tourists to rural and regional areas and growing indigenous tourism.

Currently, 14 per cent of international visitors to Australia participate in an Aboriginal cultural experience during their visit, worth $6.4 billion annually, and visitors from the United Kingdom, North America and Europe are the most likely to choose Indigenous tourism experiences.

The new Tourism Australia Aquatic and Coastal campaign also features Australia's unique Indigenous tourism offerings.

The potential for future growth in Indigenous tourism is exciting, in 2013/14, an IBA report identified that ITCP businesses received 444,000 visitors, an 11 per cent increase on the previous year. Collectively they were worth $15.47 million, up 3.3 per cent on the previous year.

160229 - Colbeck Media Release - Realising the potential of tourism in Northern Australia
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