Barkly Regional Plan Designed to Stimulate Visitor Economy

A vision for growing the visitor economy in the Barkly Region has been released.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss and Member for Barkly, Gerry McCarthy officially launched the Barkly Regional Visitor Experience Master Plan today in Tennant Creek with the Barkly Regional Council.

Funded by the NT Government, the Barkly Master Plan was developed in partnership with Barkly Regional Council, Tourism Central Australia and various government agencies, local communities and businesses throughout the region.

It is a result of extensive consultation with the regions Aboriginal communities, traditional owners, other landholders and land managers, local government and the tourism industry.

It aims to stimulate growth in the Barkly visitor economy and provide business and employment opportunities for Aboriginal communities and local enterprises.

The featured points within the Barkly Plan include:

  • Developing the town of Tennant Creek as a vibrant hub
  • Improving the visitor journey along the Stuart Highway
  • Developing an exceptional Aboriginal cultural scene that is sustainable and culturally appropriate
  • Enhancing existing and creating new bespoke events that celebrate the true characteristics of the Barkly region
  • Conducting a review of accommodation options for travellers with the aim of diversifying offerings
  • Establishing Tennant Creek as a training and development hub servicing regional businesses, organisations, communities and government agencies
  • Exploring new visitor experiences such as private touring opportunities at sites including Helen Springs petroglyphs, Eldorado fossicking and mine site, and extending Binns Track as an epic 4WD journey.

TRC Tourism delivered the Master Plan on behalf of stakeholders as well as developing the separate but linked East MacDonnell-Plenty Highway Regional Visitor Experiences Master Plan released earlier this month.

For a copy of the Master Plan visit: http://www.tourismnt.com.au/en/strategies/regional-destination-plans

As noted by Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss:

Tourism is a critical industry right across the Northern Territory including the Barkly providing business opportunities and creating jobs. Thats why this Government is investing in tourism at record levels.

The Barkly Master Plan ensures the Region is capitalising on our increased investment by identifying a strategic vision for visitor experiences, as well as opportunities for improving that experience and creating new tourism options.

It provides a pathway for local Barkly communities to tap into identified tourism opportunities and to reap the resulting economic and social benefits.

The Barkly region offers a wide range of distinctive and varied experiences for travellers. Exploring nature, four-wheel driving and learning about culture, history and heritage are the most popular activities for visitors to the region.

This plan helps to ensure visitors get to fully explore all the region has to offer, are able to stay in the style of accommodation they prefer and can fully embrace the historical and cultural opportunities of the Barkly.

As noted by Member for Barkly, Gerry McCarthy:

The Barkly region covers an area twice the size of Victoria and boasts endless horizons, natural oases in the dry desert, ancient Aboriginal stories and traditions, cattle droving, gold mining, historic towns, telegraph stations, and military heritage.

The Territory Labor Governments investment in the region is substantial. We are providing $5.5 million through the Turbocharging Tourism stimulus package towards improving the visitor experience in Tennant Creek and $10 million to upgrade arts and cultural offerings in Tennant Creek as part of the Arts Trail. This Master Plan will provide a framework for those projects.

We are also investing $9 million for the redevelopment of Purkiss Reserve, $2 million for town beautification projects such as streetscape and main street amenity and $2 million for town gateways and information signage.

This plan helps to pull all of these investments, as well as the regions existing offerings together into a cohesive and strategic vision that will bring more visitors and inject more money into the local economy.

As noted by Barkly Regional Council CEO, Steve Moore:

The plan identifies the types of tourism activity as well as the sites, journeys and events that might be suitable for visitor experiences in the Barkly region.

The leisure drive market, meaning visitors travelling to Barkly for a holiday or to visit family and friends using a self-drive vehicle, is our largest visitor sector with 57,000 visitors to the region in the year ending September 2018.

The total number for all-purpose self-drive visitors for the same period is nearly double, sitting at 100,000.

We have the scope to improve the intrastate, interstate and international visitor experiences across the region, encouraging business and holiday travellers to stay longer and experience the Barkly region.

As noted by BP Service Station Tennant Creek Operations Manager, Michael Dodd:

The Barkly Regional Visitor Experience Master Plan has the potential to be a game changer for tourism and other businesses in the region.

If we can offer visitors more things to do, they are likely to explore our region for longer, and spend more in our community.

/Public Release. View in full here.