Progress Noted in Darwin, Big Rivers, Lasseter: Report Cards

NT Government

Report cards are in for tourism in the Lasseter, Big Rivers and Greater Darwin regions, showing the Lawler Labor Government's investments in attractions and operators are delivering dividends for the Territory's visitor economy.

Annual report cards tracking the progress of Destination Management Plans (DMPs) for the Lasseter, Big Rivers and Greater Darwin regions have been released.

Setting the direction for tourism investment and strategy in the NT, Destination Management Plans identify key strengths and priorities for future investment including tourism product and visitor data in each of the Territory's regions.

In the Lasseter region, which includes Uluru Kata Tjuta and Watarrka National Parks, the report card shows visitation has increased by 25% with visitor expenditure also having a similar increase, up by 28%.

Highlights for the Lasseter region include: a new visitor experience in Uluru - the award winning Wintjiri Wiru; the development of a new multi-day walk at Watarrka National Park; and progress in the sealing of the Mereenie Loop Road, also known as the Red Centre Way.

Tourism in the Big Rivers region, including Katherine and Pine Creek, leverages its natural, cultural and historical assets. The report card for this region shows 240,000 drive visitors in 2023, a slight increase on the previous year, with visitors also staying longer and increasing their length of stay from 3.1 to 4.1 visitor nights.

The Greater Darwin region, encompassing Darwin, Palmerston, the Tiwi Islands, Mary River, Djukbinj and Litchfield National Parks, also experienced an increase in driving holiday makers with 367,000 drive visitors, an increase of 9.4% on the previous year. Growth highlights reported in the region include: new campsites at Surprise Creek in Litchfield National Park; progress on the Mandorah Marine Facilities; and infrastructure upgrades to accommodation and taverns at Dundee Beach.

In Darwin itself, the redevelopment and integration of the Mercure and Novotel hotels saw the Airport Development Group open the Novotel & Mercure Darwin Airport Resort. Developments including the Darwin Convention Centre Hotel, the re-development of Civic and State Square including the Northern Territory Art Gallery, the nearly complete Danala, Charles Darwin University's city campus as well as the Larrakia Cultural Centre are significant projects for the future growth of the Greater Darwin Region destination.

Each DMP's actions are guided by tourism experts and local knowledge from Tourism NT, Regional Tourism Organisations, Land Councils, Regional Councils and NT Government departments.

To view the Destination Management Plans and their report cards visit here

Quotes to attribute to Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Joel Bowden:

"The Lawler Labor Government is investing in tourism - we have a great story to tell that makes each and every corner of the Territory worth a visit.

"We'll keep investing in tourism product and development, this approach brings together tourism industry experts with local know-how to provide a roadmap for tourism and support Territory businesses.

"To achieve the Northern Territory's Tourism Industry Strategy 2030 goal of 2.8 million visitors by 2030, we'll continue to talk up the Territory, bringing in more visitors for longer regional stays."

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