(Australian Associated Press)
The Northern Territory has rolled out a new tourism advertising campaign to entice Australian travellers back to the Top End.
But the national campaign is unlikely to be a silver bullet for the ailing tourism industry, which had been heavily reliant on overseas travellers.
Visitor numbers from other states plummeted by 62 per cent in 2020 amid COVID-19 lockdowns, travel restrictions and border closures.
That equates to about a $1.3 billion fall in revenue from domestic travellers, according to Tourism NT.
“Twelve months ago we started to feel the impacts of the coronavirus in Australia,” Tourism and Hospitality Minister Natasha Fyles told reporters on Monday.
“But now with all the state borders open, travel optimism is back so the NT is going to capitalise on this … as people head into winter down south.”
The new $2.5 million national TV, social media, cinema and newspaper campaign urges would-be travellers to “seek different” while showcasing the Territory’s natural attractions and adventure experiences.
“With international travel off the cards for the foreseeable future, we know how important visitors from interstate will be,” Ms Fyles said.
Ms Fyles said the NT’s tourism sector had “suffered immensely throughout the pandemic” and it was unlikely that increased domestic tourism would make up for the continued loss of international visitors.
Tourism NT general manager Tony Quarmby said the campaign would be a much-needed shot in the arm for many tourism operators ahead of JobKeeper ending.
“(However) the recovery is going to take many years, it’s going to be a staggered rebound,” he said.
About 18 per cent of the NT workforce relies on tourism.