The Red Centre will be rolling out the welcome mat for an influx of Japanese visitors next week, with the first direct charter flight from Japan in over a decade touching down in Alice Springs.
Another win under the Governments record $103 million Turbocharging Tourism stimulus package, the flight will be the first in a series of JTB World Vacations charter flights from Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka which will allow visitors to explore Alice Springs, before heading to Uluru on specially arranged Alliance Airlines charter flights or travelling by coach through Kings Canyon.
Minister for Tourism and Culture, Lauren Moss said the charter flights would deliver an additional 1,338 visitor nights in the Territory.
In the year ending March 2018, 24,000 Japanese tourists visited the NT, a 13 per cent increase on the previous year.
The Japanese visitor market, the Territorys fourth largest international tourism market, is expected to grow by around 5 per cent per year to 2020.
As stated by Minister for Tourism and Culture, Lauren Moss
Following on from the inaugural charter with JTB World Vacations to Darwin in August this year, this is another positive step towards growing the economic benefits from international visitation.
Japan remains an extremely important visitor market for the Northern Territory and these charter flights not only ensure Japanese visitors are able to fly here directly, but also ensures they are sharing their experiences back home, generating further interest in the Territory.
Having charters flying directly into Alice Springs also ensures that we are dispersing Japanese visitors and driving economic benefit across our regions.
As stated by Member for Braitling, Dale Wakefield
This is a great outcome from the Territory Labor Governments record $103 million Turbocharging Tourism investment which is attracting more visitors, creating more local jobs and putting more money into the pockets of Territorians.
These flights are exciting for Alice Springs with tourism operators, retailers, hotels, cafes and restaurants all set to benefit from the increase in Japanese visitors in the coming weeks.