3. Showcasing Northern Australia


Domestic tourism marketing is undertaken by states and territories, Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs), local governments and tourism organisations, and industry bodies. The international tourism marketing of Australia is undertaken by Tourism Australia.1
Potential marketing approaches that may enhance the current the marketing of Northern Australia range from: attracting and supporting events to increase tourist visitation; using digital marketing, the development of oneoff promotions and holiday packages, and encouraging film and television (TV) production to take place in the north in order to showcase northern cities and landscapes and potentially encourage viewers to visit Northern Australia.
As well as international marketing efforts through Tourism Australia, the Australian Government has implemented visa initiatives aimed at attracting international tourists (particularly from Asia) to Northern Australia.

Domestic Marketing of Northern Australia

Northern Territory

Tourism Northern Territory (NT) was established by the NT Government to market the NT as a tourist destination, and to facilitate growth of the NT tourism industry.2
As part of the NT Government’s $103 million Turbocharging Tourism Initiative, $26.57 million has been allocated to ‘increase visitation through smart marketing.’ A further $20.78 million will be used to develop ‘experiences’, which includes developing new and existing festivals and events, implementing a festival support program, and encouraging art, cultural and sporting events.3
Tourism Central Australia and Tourism Top End are the NT’s two RTOs. Tourism Central Australia explained that the strength of an RTO is its ability to ‘provide a regional marketing focus’, as opposed to state and federal level bodies which ‘take a macro approach to marketing’.4 Tourism Top End advised that it works in partnership with Tourism Central Australia, Tourism NT and industry bodies to develop tourism in the region.5


Tourism and Events Queensland (Qld) leads the marketing, destination and experience development in Qld and is also the major events agency. In order to grow Qld’s tourism and event market, Tourism and Events Qld has developed a ‘strategic priorities’ plan to the year 2020.6
In 2016, Tourism and Events Qld began focussing its marketing on Qld as a ‘Master Brand’ and highlighting unique tourist experiences from across the state.7 Tourism and Events Qld explained that ‘elevating the exposure of the Qld brand and focusing on experiences will present a stronger platform to inspire, engage and attract more visitors.’8
Tourism and Events Qld’s 2016 marketing campaign I know just the place showcased specific North Qld experiences from Tropical North Qld (such as the Savannah Way, Wangetti Beach and the Undara Experience) Townsville (the SS Yongola Dive Wreck) the Whitsundays (Nara Inlet, Hook Island and Whitsunday Islands National Park) and Mackay (Cape Hillsborough National Park).9
Qld has 13 RTOs, each of which market specific regions. The Qld RTOs that fall wholly or partly in Northern Australia are: Capricorn Enterprise, Townsville Enterprise, Tourism Tropical North Qld (TTNQ), Mackay Tourism, Outback Qld Tourism Association, Tourism Whitsundays, Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism, and Gladstone Area Promotion and Development.10
The Qld Government advised that each RTO has developed a Destination Tourism Plan, in consultation with industry stakeholders, and that ‘through these plans, Qld’s RTOs are aligning strategies, available resources, and the efforts of industry and all levels of government toward a set of unified long-term objectives.’11
The Destination Tourism Plans also outline how the RTOs and Tourism and Events Qld ‘will work together to market tourism for the destination’.12

Western Australia

Tourism WA is a statutory authority and promotes WA as a holiday and event destination. This includes delivering marketing campaigns, developing and promoting events, and working across government and with industry on destination development.13
The RTOs in northern WA are Australia’s North West, Australia’s Coral Coast and Australia’s Golden Outback. The Tourism Council WA, Australian Hotels Association and the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC), as well as local governments and visitor centres also contribute to the marketing of northern WA.14

Marketing Northern Australia Internationally

Tourism Australia is the Australian Government agency responsible for the international marketing of Australia as a tourism destination.15 Tourism Australia stated that part of its remit is to ‘encourage dispersal’ of international tourists throughout Australia and as such, it aims to ensure its work covers ‘regional experiences.’16 Tourism Australia advised that its recent global marketing campaign ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’ currently had three areas of focus: youth, aquatic and coastal, and food and wine.17
The NT Department of Tourism and Culture (DTC) expressed concern that Tourism Australia’s recent focus on food, wine and beach experiences had ‘not resonated strongly with NT tourism product’.18 The NT DTC recommended that Tourism Australia’s international campaigns prioritise Northern Australia and its attractions.19 Tourism Central Australia similarly recommended that Tourism Australia use the ‘Red Centre as a hallmark destination for adventurous experiences’ in its marketing.20
Quicksilver Group, which operates marine tourist vessels, stated that Tourism Australia’s capacity to sell Australia to the world had been reduced, primarily due to a reduction in its revenue.21 Tourism WA recommended that funding to Tourism Australia be increased, and be used specifically for ‘the development of specific campaigns that promote tourism in northern WA.’22
Kakadu Tourism called for the establishment of a ‘Northern Australia tourism media promotion fund’, to be managed by Tourism Australia. Kakadu Tourism explained that this fund would be used for ‘media familiarisations’, where domestic and international journalists experience Northern Australia’s tourism products first hand, and report on them to a global audience.23
The Christmas Island Tourism Association (CITA) advised that Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are not included on Tourism Australia’s website, as the region is not represented by a regional or state tourism body. The CITA further stated:
Exposure through Tourism Australia and its networks is paramount to Christmas Island being able to continue to stimulate investment and development opportunities.24
Tourism Australia advised that it had begun working more closely with the Indian Ocean Territories (IOTs), through activities such as: involving the IOTs in Tourism Australia’s distribution platforms, including the IOTs in its Indonesia events, reposting photographs taken from the IOTs tourism associations social media; and examining how Tourism Australia can support any international flight or cruise ship proposals for Christmas Island.25

Tourist Visas

Various visas are available to international tourists:
Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601): tourists can enter Australia as many times as they want, for up to three months at a time, for up to twelve months after the visa is granted.
eVisitor (subclass 651): this visa is for people with passports from certain countries, and allows them enter as many times as they want, for up to three months at a time, for up to twelve months after the visa is granted.
Visitor visa (subclass 600): tourists can visit for up to twelve months.
Special Category visa (subclass 444): this visa is for visitors from New Zealand.26
Tourism Australia outlined the features of visitor visa trials which are designed to attract tourists from the People’s Republic of China. These details are:
• ‘a ten year multiple entry visitor visa (making Australia one of only a handful of countries to offer this product);
• a fast track (48 hour) visa processing service (for a fee); and
• online visa application lodgement in simplified Chinese (the first time any country has afforded the Chinese traveller this service).’27
Tourism Australia further stated that full online visitor visa application lodgement is available for the Indian and China markets.28 In June 2017 the Australian Government also announced a visitor visa for Singaporeans, which will allow travellers to visit Australia for up to three months at a time, over a six-year period, with a single application.29
Tourism Australia advised that the Australian Government had implemented working holiday visa initiatives which may also encourage international visitation to Northern Australia. These include:
‘expanding the Working Holiday Maker visa programme by increasing the amount of time visa holders can work in high demand areas in Northern Australia, with a small number allowed a second year on their visa if they work in northern tourism and agriculture
From 21 November 2015, an employment extension to work with one employer in Northern Australia beyond the usual limit of six months was initiated; and
expanding and streamlining the Seasonal Worker Programme to support seasonal industries such as tourism and hospitality by reducing costs to business, increasing worker numbers and allowing more countries and industries to participate.’30
The Department of Home Affairs advised of further initiatives that may encourage foreign workers to Northern Australia31, such as the NT Designation Area Migration Agreement, under which ‘NT employers sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers in areas experiencing skills and labour shortages.’32 The Department of Home Affairs also referenced the Pacific Labour Scheme, to be introduced on 1 July 2018, which will ‘enable citizens of Pacific island countries to take up low and semi‑skilled work opportunities in rural and regional Australia for up to three years.’33

Targeting the Asian Market

Virgin Australia emphasised the importance of the Asian market to Australia’s tourism industry, stating that ‘it is expected that visitors from Asia will contribute most of the growth in [Australia’s international tourism] sector over the coming decade.’34 Tourism Australia similarly highlighted the value of the Chinese tourism market in Northern Australia, stating that Chinese visitors spent $282 million in Northern Australia in 2016.35
Sealink suggested that, given Northern Australia’s close proximity to Asia36, a marketing strategy should be developed for Northern Australia to attract visitors from this region.37 Virgin Australia expressed similar sentiments and stated that ‘attracting a greater share of visitors from Asia and the subcontinent should be prioritised in international marketing efforts.’38
Hamilton Island Enterprises considered China to be a growth market for tourism in Australia and supported recent visa changes to encourage Chinese tourists to Australia. Hamilton Island Enterprises recommended the Government continue to pursue this market, to ensure it is maintained over the long term.39
Australia’s North West Tourism (ANWT) cautioned that northern WA may be ‘disadvantaged’ by a focus on Asia, as tourists from this region have generally looked at ‘short stays’ and are not ‘interested in internal flights’. As such, the distance and time it takes to travel from Perth to northern WA may mean it would not be a popular destination among visitors from Asia.40 Tourism Council WA similarly stated that ‘there is a long way to go before [Asia] is going to be a sizeable market for the northwest.’41

Cooperation between Marketing Bodies

The ANWT stated there is ‘overlap and duplication’ in the delivery of destination marketing across Northern Australia and particularly in the north-west region of WA.42 The TTNQ agreed, outlining the layers of marketing organisations in Qld and highlighting the work being undertaken with limited resources. The TTNQ stated:
The diversity of our region has a very complex network of organisations from the councils, our [local tourism organisations] and RTOs in promoting [tourism]. It is all very place specific and in the context of local needs … the current system has areas where we are duplicating a whole bunch of roles and we are doing that with scarce resources.43
Ecotourism Australia further advised that this multijurisdictional approach may not be in line with visitor expectations and stated:
The current approach is for Tourism Australia to attract visitors to Australia and then states attract visitors to their states and then regions to their regions. Unfortunately, visitors have a different approach. They come to Australia to do something. And don’t really care which state/territory or region it is physically located. They want to go scuba diving, kite surfing, bird watching, walking etc. Currently there is no direct way for the potential tourist to search by activity at the national level.44
The ANWT similarly questioned whether marketing should be divided on state and territory lines, and further suggested an ‘east-west rather than north-south’ focus could be effective. The ANWT stated that tourism in the KimberleyPilbara region in WA may have more in common with the NT than southern WA, but that there are ‘difficulties in how we market those two areas together because of that [state] line on the map and how funding is allocated.’45
The Shire of Exmouth expressed similar sentiments in relation to the Kimberley and Ningaloo Reef, WA. The Shire stated that these ‘standout’ attractions should be marketed as ‘an international destination’ but currently they are broken up across five RTOs, and there is a lack of coordination across the RTOs, local tourism organisations and Tourism WA.46
Ecotourism Australia stated that small tourism operators and new businesses may find it difficult to navigate the marketing landscape and determine which marketing body to contact. Ecotourism Australia further explained that there is no ‘clear pathway, because Tourism Australia's way of doing business is very different from the way the [state tourism organisations] do it, which is very different from the RTOs.’47
The Outback Highway Development Council (OHDC) recommended that regions be tasked with developing tourism products and capacity building, while state organisations should focus on the promotional aspect (based on information provided by the regions). The OHDC stated that:
… [the regions] should not be promoting. They should be highlighting what needs promoting, putting it all together to be promoted, putting the message together and the whole spin because they are the local people who know. The state organisation should be promoting. The local guy should be developing products and preparing, identifying and developing but also building capacity ... No region could ever have the budget big enough to do their promotion justice.48
Ecotourism Australia suggested that collaboration between Tourism Australia, state tourism organisations and RTOs is needed to ensure marketing campaigns and messages are consistent across Northern Australia.49 The Northern RDA Alliance put forward a similar proposition, and recommended a team be created and resourced within Tourism Australia to focus on the development and marketing of Northern Australia, in partnership with states and RTOs.50
While many inquiry participants advocated for greater coordination of marketing, others provided examples of organisations working together to market their region more effectively. These examples were:
In northern WA, the East Kimberley Marketing Group (EKMG) was created, with representatives from local tourism operators, Shire Councils, ANWT, Kununurra Visitor Centre and the East Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The EKMG was formed to better coordinate marketing of the East Kimberley, and it has focussed on attracting a flight from Melbourne to Kununurra to boost tourism. The EKMG advised that it had received a proposal from an airline to assist with reaching this goal.51
In Qld, the RTOs Capricorn Enterprise, Gladstone Area Promotions and Development, and Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism work in partnership under the Southern Great Barrier Reef Destination Brand. Capricorn Enterprise advised that this partnership received awards for destination marketing in 2015 and 2016.52
Christmas Island Tourism Association and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Tourism have developed ‘an integrated “brand” of Australia’s Indian Ocean Islands, encouraging potential visitors to visit both unique island destinations’.53 Parks Australia advised it will work with the tourism associations on cooperative marketing.54

Marketing Opportunities

Attracting and Promoting Events

Tourism Central Australia made the point that despite having a low population, Northern Australia ‘is host to many excellent events’. For example, there are ‘iconic and famous events in the Red Centre’ such as: Henley on Todd Regatta, Parrtjima Festival in Light, Red Finke Desert Race, Easter in the Alice Mountain Bike Event and Alice Springs Beanie Festival. Tourism Central Australia were of the view that:
These festivals are significant attractors of interstate and international visitors, given that they celebrate our unique outback lifestyle. Along with the many major events we host, there are many smaller community and regional festivals that with some capacity development and marketing assistance could develop into larger events, attracting more visitors and encouraging existing visitors to stay longer.55
The City of Karratha similarly outlined the positive impact events can have on the tourism industry, as they can ‘draw increased visitation and expenditure, repeat visitation, heightened regional awareness and word of mouth recommendations.’56 Other benefits of large scale events are that they can attract visitors outside of the peak tourist season57, and when held in regional locations can encourage tourists to travel beyond capital cities.58
The Qld Government advised that it has a calendar of major events in Qld, which ‘has a value of more than $600 million per annum.’59 North Qld Airports outlined the visitation and expenditure generated by one such event in Qld - the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival, which includes an international Ironman championship. North Qld Airports stated:
Each international participant is estimated to bring 2.5 people with them to the event. This event over one week contributes up to $20 million to the regional and state economy. The event is broadcast to a potential global audience of around 300 million, providing enormous promotional opportunities for the destination.60
North Qld Airports added that major international events such as this can also ‘stimulate demand for direct international air services.’61
The Indigenous Land Corporation and Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia similarly explained that developing a calendar of events for Uluru had helped to take the destination ‘from the “bucket list” to “I want to go now”’. Further, the Field of Light Uluru installation and associated events had seen occupancy rates at the Ayers Rock Resort reach ‘record levels’.62
Townsville Enterprise was of the view that a lack of infrastructure, as well as costs associated with travelling to the north, encourages event promoters to overlook Northern Australia as an event destination. Townsville Enterprise stated:
… big promotors — concert promotors — really do overlook the north for concerts and shows due to the additional costs to get there and the infrastructure [there]. However, we know that once an event comes into the region, the economic benefits to the community in overnight visitation and retail precincts are significant.63

Central Calendar of Events

Kakadu Tourism recommended an annual calendar of events in Northern Australia be developed and publicised to attract visitors.64 The Australian Caravan Club agreed and proposed that events be planned on a circuit route, so that drive tourists could travel from one event to the next.65
Kakadu Tourism added this calendar should include events that ‘reflect the local environment, with a strong Indigenous vein, but also adventure and experiential activities.’66 The NT DTC stated that ‘arts and cultural festivals are a particular opportunity for the north.’67

Event Funding and Capacity Building

Recognising the positive impact major events can have on the tourism industry and economy, North Qld Airports proposed that ‘funds from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility or other suitable areas [be] directed towards major international event attraction.’68
The NT DTC similarly recommended the Australian Government ‘increase Festivals Australia funding and direct strategic catalyst funding to support international market and audience development for arts and cultural festivals and events in the north.’69 Kakadu Tourism further advised that Indigenous events needed to ‘be expanded and made more professional’.70
The Events Industry Association stated that the Royalties for Regions program had been ‘enormously successful’ in providing funding for events in regional areas, but had since been ‘quite watered down and so there's not the money to put into grassroots and greenfield events.’71
Tourism Central Australia recommended an event development program be established to assist small community and regional festivals build their capacity and marketing capabilities, in order to attract more visitors. Tourism Central Australia suggested this program be fully funded for at least five years, and that it focus on: event plans and logistics; volunteer recruitment, training and retention; hiring of employees and consultants; attracting sponsorship and grants; capacity development; and marketing.72

Business Events

Business events can have a positive impact on tourism, as attendees may frequent restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions while visiting an area for work.73 The economic contribution of business events to the NT’s economy was estimated to be over $70 million.74 The Darwin Convention Centre further stated that:
Business events are recognised as increasing tourism. In 2015, Darwin Convention Centre and Northern Territory Convention Bureau delegate research showed that 58 per cent [of delegates] said they would return in the next three years and 45 per cent would return for a holiday. 71 per cent of these delegates had never been to Darwin before.75
Tourism Top End advised that the NT only attracts ‘approximately two to three per cent of all business events across Australia’ and that funds are needed to ‘improve this position.’76 The Cairns Convention Centre and the Darwin Convention Centre recommended the creation of a $5 million international bid fund (Northern Australia Bid Fund) to help attract business events to Northern Australia.77
The Darwin Convention Centre outlined how the fund would operate and stated:
The fund would only be activated if the bid is successful and be based around strong return on investment criteria. It provides a 100 per cent guarantee of return on investment as if the bid is unsuccessful no funds are accessed.78

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing of tourist destinations in Northern Australia is critical to the ability of tourist businesses to remain competitive79, and helps connect remote tourism businesses to visitor markets across the country and the world. Tourism Council WA, for example, explained that many people who want to visit the Pilbara are from the east coast of Australia and Northern Europe, and without online marketing and booking functionality, ‘there’s simply no way they’re going to find [this destination].’80
Parks Australia further explained the importance of digital technology to the tourism industry and stated that:
… technology and social media is a driver in the way consumers research, share and book travel products. Digital is now the primary source of travel inspiration for leisure travellers who use online sources (e.g. YouTube, social media channels, Trip Advisor). Increasingly more travellers are using smart phones throughout the visitor cycle (wishing, planning, booking, experiencing, departing and remembering), and booking via a smart phone is increasing.81
As a result of this digital usage, Parks Australia stated that digital marketing is a focus for its organisation. Responding to ‘solid growth in website traffic’, Parks Australia advised it has revamped its website and is using social media to engage potential visitors, reporting that its social media currently reaches over 15 million people.82
The Outback Qld Tourism Association further outlined the role of social media in showcasing remote regions and stated:
… social media has opened up a whole new world where people actually want to go to more remote places. They do not want to go on the well-beaten track anymore. They want to have those bragging rights over a dinner table, and social media gives them that.83
Kakadu Tourism similarly highlighted the importance of enabling visitors to document their travels online:
A journalist or ‘influencer’ being able to communicate with 200 000 followers as they experience one of the world’s most inspiring sunsets on Ubirr is a priceless promotional opportunity.84
Savannah Way Limited stated that many tourism businesses in Northern Australia struggle to maintain an online presence, due to limited internet and data coverage. Savannah Way Limited stated that it is:
… trying to encourage businesses to manage their TripAdvisor and to upgrade their websites and to get onto Facebook, and [yet] there is a very high percentage of those that cannot even get onto their website because of connectivity, let alone have the continuity of connection that enables them to manage that.85
Tourism Central Australia commented that tourism businesses may need assistance with building their online marketing and administrative skills, and stated:
Digital capacity is an ongoing issue for tourism businesses. As the rate of innovation increases in the digital world, businesses, in particular small to medium enterprises in outback areas, struggle to keep up to date with these changes along with day to day business operations.86
A number of initiatives are already providing business mentoring to assist with online marketing. For example: Tourism Central Australia’s Digital Integration program, which mentors tourism businesses for ‘social media marketing and web development’87; Tourism NT’s Digital Leap Seminars88; and the Qld Government’s Innovate Queensland program, which assists tourism operators ‘to enhance their online presence and digital capability.’89
Ninti One Limited advocated for the ‘creation and funding for dedicated digital capacity building programs’, including a ‘suite of dedicated digital mentoring programs for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism operators’.90

Marketing Promotions and Holiday Packages

Marketing can be used to attract visitors outside of peak tourism periods. Tourism WA explained that this can be achieved through cooperation with airlines, travel agents and wholesalers, to encourage deals and special rates in the shoulder seasons.91
Holiday packages, which may include attractions, travel, and/or meals, can also serve to promote an area to tourists, and encourage visitors to extend their stay and potentially explore a region more widely.92 The Port Douglas Steam Train Company further stated that holiday packages can help individual businesses to promote themselves, as it is unlikely that small businesses with a single product will have ‘the capability or capacity to sell their product alone.’93
Tourism Council WA stated that holiday packages may also reduce flight fares and other expenses:
When you fly on a package and the package is distributed through wholesalers and they're able to package up with airfares, accommodation, touring experiences and so on, airlines, hotels and everybody else puts a much lower price into the package because it is hidden from the public view.94
Tourism Council WA further advised that packages may explain ‘some of the airfare differences’ between Qld and WA, as 69 per cent of leisure visitors flying to a regional destination in Qld will fly on a package, while ‘the same figure for WA would be nine per cent.’95

Film and TV Promotion

The 1986 movie Crocodile Dundee showcased the Australian outback to a global audience. Kakadu Tourism stated that this film was the ‘single most important promotional event for Kakadu (and NT) tourism’ in the 1980s and 1990s.96 The impact of Crocodile Dundee on Australian tourism was highlighted by Tourism Australia’s recent $36 million marketing campaign in the United States of America. This campaign featured an advertisement which initially looked like a trailer for a new Crocodile Dundee movie, but then ‘switched into an incredible showcase for Australian tourism.’97
Kakadu Tourism further advised that ‘one of the most effective ways of selling a destination to the wider audience is by supporting TV and film producers who can showcase the region as an integral aspect of their film/TV show.’98 The NT DTC also highlighted the importance of screen content to the tourism industry and stated:
Each year around 230 000 international visitors are estimated to visit or extend their stay in Australia as a result of viewing Australian film and television content, representing around $725 million in estimated tourism expenditure.99
The NT DTC recommended funding for Screen Australia be increased to support the screen industry in Northern Australia.100 The Qld Government recommended that the Australian Government consider permanently increasing film industry incentives, or target incentives to regional areas of Northern Australia.101

Concluding Comment

Tourism Marketing of Northern Australia

The Committee acknowledges the role that tourism and other agencies across federal, state and territory, and local levels have in the tourism marketing of Northern Australia. The Committee is of the view that marketing efforts could be further enhanced through closer collaboration between these organisations and levels of government. In particular, there may be untapped opportunities to develop marketing products, holiday packages, and events across the north.
Closer collaboration between jurisdictions could present marketing opportunities for areas that have similar or complementary strengths, but are separated by regional or state and territory boundaries. For example, northern Western Australia shares many similarities with the Northern Territory and marketing these areas together could be cost effective and could boost tourist visitation in both regions.
Tourism Australia is tasked with showcasing Australia as a holiday destination to the rest of the world. While Tourism Australia is required to highlight locations across the whole country, the Committee considers there is a need to specifically showcase the strengths of Northern Australia, which include outback and desert experiences, cultural tourism, iconic drive routes, beaches and coral reefs.
This Committee reiterates the recommendation made by its predecessor in Pivot North: Inquiry into the Development of Northern Australia (Pivot North). In Pivot North, the recommendation was made that a tourism strategy for promoting Northern Australia domestically and internationally be developed, which highlights natural assets and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

Events and Holiday Packages

Events can attract visitors to a region and create tourism opportunities for local businesses. The formulation of a calendar of events across Northern Australia could encourage tourists to stay longer and travel more widely. Attracting more business events, which bring significant capital to a region, may also assist in stimulating tourism in Northern Australia.
The Committee also reiterates and supports the findings and recommendations its predecessor Committee made in Pivot North in relation to the significant asset the arts and culture scene is in Northern Australia. In particular, the Committee recommends that the Australian Government increase the profile of, and participation in, artistic and cultural events in Northern Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts.
Holiday packages, which bundle up airfares, accommodation and tourist attractions, could be made available more widely throughout Northern Australia to encourage travel to the north and reduce transport and accommodation costs for tourists. Holiday and travel packages may also contribute to lowering airfares in Western Australia.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is essential if a tourism operator is initially to reach tourists from the southern states and across the world. Many tourism operators in Northern Australia are small businesses and may require support in developing their digital capacity. In particular, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and others located in remote areas could benefit from mentoring and capacity building initiatives to enable them to capitalise on digital marketing opportunities.

Film and Television Promotion

The Committee acknowledges the impact that films such as Crocodile Dundee, Australia, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert have had on showcasing Northern Australia. Creating and maintaining incentives for the production of cinema and television content in Northern Australia could present northern destinations to a massive domestic and potentially international audience, far beyond the reach of any individual marketing campaign.

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that Tourism Australia work in partnership with the Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australian and the respective Indian Ocean Territories tourism organisations to:
Identify areas of tourism marketing and promotional overlap and streamline marketing policies and actions across Northern Australia;
Identify opportunities to work in partnership, particularly for the marketing of tourist destinations that cross state and territory borders; and
Develop a digital Northern Australia calendar of events with events scheduled consecutively (where possible) to encourage travel to and between multiple destinations and events.

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that Tourism Australia establish a new, specific and ongoing Northern Australia marketing policy and campaign to increase international awareness, including in Asian visitor markets, of Northern Australian tourism destinations and attractions.

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government provide ongoing financial incentives for film and television productions to take place in Northern Australian locations.

  • 1
    Tourism Australia is an Australian Government agency.
  • 2
    Tourism Northern Territory (NT), ‘About Us’, www.tourismnt.com.au/en/about-us, Accessed 5 June 2017.
  • 3
  • 4
    Tourism Central Australia, Submission 2, p. 7.
  • 5
    Tourism Top End, Submission 9, p. 1.
  • 6
    Queensland Government, Submission 40, p. 11.
  • 7
    Queensland Government, Submission 40, p. 12.
  • 8
    Queensland Government, Submission 40, p. 12.
  • 9
    Queensland Government, Submission 40, p. 12.
  • 10
    Mr Daniel Gschwind, Chief Executive, Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Official Committee Hansard, Brisbane, 6 July 2017, p. 8.
  • 11
    Queensland Government, Submission 40, p. 11.
  • 12
    Queensland Government, Submission 40, p. 11.
  • 13
    Tourism Western Australia (WA), ‘Our Role’, https://www.tourism.wa.gov.au/About%20Us/Our%20organisation/Our-role/Pages/Our-role.aspx
    , Accessed 27 February 2018.
  • 14
    Tourism WA, Submission 63, p. 9.
  • 15
    Tourism Australia, Submission 44, p. 3.
  • 16
    Ms Karen Halbert, Executive General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Government and Industry, Tourism Australia, Official Committee Hansard, Canberra, 17 February 2017, p. 30.
  • 17
    Tourism Australia, ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’, http://www.tourism.australia.com/campaigns/TNLA.aspx, Accessed 5 June 2017.
  • 18
    NT Department of Tourism and Culture (DTC), Submission 23, p. 9.
  • 19
    NT DTC, Submission 23, p. 10.
  • 20
    Tourism Central Australia, Submission 2, p. 3.
  • 21
    Mr Michael Healy, Group Director, Sales and Marketing, Quicksilver Group, Official Committee Hansard, Port Douglas, 3 July 2017, p. 34.
  • 22
    Tourism WA, Submission 63, p. 8.
  • 23
    Kakadu Tourism, Submission 8, pp 8-9.
  • 24
    Christmas Island Tourism Association, Submission 21, p. 3.
  • 25
    Ms Karen Halbert, Executive General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Government and Industry, Tourism Australia, Official Committee Hansard, Canberra, 25 May 2018, pp 19-20.
  • 26
    Department of Home Affairs, ‘What visa do I need to visit Australia?’ https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Lega/Lega/Form/Immi-FAQs/what-visa-do-i-need-to-visit-australia, Accessed 8 June 2018.
  • 27
    Tourism Australia, Submission 44, p. 2.
  • 28
    Tourism Australia, Submission 44, p. 2.
  • 29
    The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister, and the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, ‘New Visa Option to Boost Tourism and Business Ties with Singapore’, Joint Media Release, 2 June 2017, www.pm.gov.au/media/2017-06-02/new-visa-option-boost-tourism-and-business-ties-singapore; Accessed 6 June 2017.
  • 30
    Tourism Australia, Submission 44, pp 2-3.
  • 31
    Mr Michael Willard, Assistant Secretary, Global Mobility, Department of Home Affairs, Official Committee Hansard, Canberra, 25 May 2018, p. 31.
  • 32
    NT Government, ‘NT Designated Area Migration Agreement’, https://business.nt.gov.au/business/migration-information-for-business/northern-territory-designated-area-migration-agreement, Accessed 29 May 2018.
  • 33
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, ‘Stepping-up Australia’s Pacific Engagement’, http://dfat.gov.au/geo/pacific/engagement/Pages/stepping-up-australias-pacific-engagement.aspx, Accessed 29 May 2018.
  • 34
    Virgin Australia, Submission 32, p. 2.
  • 35
    This refers to the year ending September 2016. Tourism Australia, Submission 44, p. 3.
  • 36
    Sealink, Submission 3, p. 4.
  • 37
    Sealink, Submission 3.1, p. 7.
  • 38
    Virgin Australia, Submission 32, p. 7.
  • 39
    Mr Glenn Bourke, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Hamilton Island Enterprises, Official Committee Hansard, Hamilton Island, 25 June 2017, pp 2-3.
  • 40
    Mr Glen Chidlow, CEO, Australia’s North West Tourism (ANWT), Official Committee Hansard, Broome, 21 August 2017, p. 38.
  • 41
    Mr Evan Hall, CEO, Tourism Council WA, Official Committee Hansard, Perth, 23 August 2017, p. 14.
  • 42
    ANWT, Submission 30, p. 5.
  • 43
    Ms Wendy Morris, Board Member, Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ), Official Committee Hansard, Cairns, 4 July 2017, p. 2.
  • 44
    Ecotourism Australia, Submission 13, p. 3.
  • 45
    Mr Glen Chidlow, ANWT, Official Committee Hansard, Broome, 21 August 2017, p. 39.
  • 46
    Mr Cameron Woods, CEO, Shire of Exmouth, Official Committee Hansard, Canberra, 19 October 2017, p. 8.
  • 47
    Mr Roderick John Hillman, Chief Executive, Ecotourism Australia, Official Committee Hansard, Brisbane, 6 July 2017, p. 30.
  • 48
    Mrs Helen Lewis, General Manager, Outback Highway Development Council, Official Committee Hansard, Brisbane, 6 July 2017, p. 34.
  • 49
    Ecotourism Australia, Submission 13, p. 3.
  • 50
    Northern RDA Alliance, Submission 46, p. 4.
  • 51
    East Kimberley Marketing Group, Submission 27, p. 1.
  • 52
    Capricorn Enterprise, Submission 22, p. 1.
  • 53
    Parks Australia, Submission 14.2, p. 2.
  • 54
    Parks Australia, Submission 14.2, p. 2.
  • 55
    Tourism Central Australia, Submission 2, p. 2.
  • 56
    City of Karratha, Submission 6, p. 6.
  • 57
    Virgin Australia, Submission 32, p. 7.
  • 58
    NT DTC, Submission 23, p. 9.
  • 59
    Queensland Government, Submission 40, p. 14.
  • 60
    North Queensland Airports, Submission 36, p. 5.
  • 61
    North Queensland Airports, Submission 36, p. 5.
  • 62
    Indigenous Land Corporation and Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, Submission 66, p. 4.
  • 63
    Ms Bridget Woods, Director, Tourism and Events, Townsville Enterprise, Official Committee Hansard, Townsville, 5 July 2017, p. 9.
  • 64
    Kakadu Tourism, Submission 8, p. 6.
  • 65
    Mr Tom Smith, Deputy Chairman, Australian Caravan Club, Official Committee Hansard, Canberra, 14 September 2017, p. 1.
  • 66
    Kakadu Tourism, Submission 8, p. 6.
  • 67
    NT DTC, Submission 23, p. 9.
  • 68
    North Queensland Airports, Submission 36, p. 5.
  • 69
    NT DTC, Submission 23, p. 10.
  • 70
    Kakadu Tourism, Submission 8, p. 5.
  • 71
    Ms Cassandra Brennan, President, Events Industry Association, Official Committee Hansard, Perth, 23 August 2017, p. 17.
  • 72
    Tourism Central Australia, Submission 2, pp 2-3.
  • 73
    Tourism Top End, Submission 9, p. 5.
  • 74
    Tourism Top End, Submission 9, p. 5.
  • 75
    Darwin Convention Centre, Submission 18, p. 1.
  • 76
    Tourism Top End, Submission 9, p. 5.
  • 77
    Cairns Convention Centre, Submission 12, p. 1, Darwin Convention Centre, Submission 18, p. 3.
  • 78
    Darwin Convention Centre, Submission 18, p. 3.
  • 79
    Ecotourism Australia, Submission 13, p. 8.
  • 80
    Mr Evan Hall, Tourism Council WA, Official Committee Hansard, Perth, 23 August 2017, p. 13.
  • 81
    Parks Australia, Submission 14, p. 4.
  • 82
    Parks Australia, Submission 14, p. 4.
  • 83
    Mr Peter William Homan, General Manager, Outback Queensland Tourism Association, Official Committee Hansard, Brisbane, 6 July 2017, p. 1.
  • 84
    Kakadu Tourism, Submission 8, p. 4.
  • 85
    Mr Russell Boswell, Manager, Savannah Way Limited, Official Committee Hansard, Cairns, 4 July 2017, p. 10.
  • 86
    Tourism Central Australia, Submission 2, p. 5.
  • 87
    Tourism Central Australia, Submission 2, pp 5-6.
  • 88
    Ecotourism Australia, Submission 13, pp 8-9.
  • 89
    Queensland Government, Submission 40, p. 18.
  • 90
    Ninti One Limited, Submission 4, p. 5.
  • 91
    Mrs Louise Scott, Executive Director, Strategy, Brand and Marketing Services, Tourism WA, Official Committee Hansard, Perth, 23 August 2017, p. 6.
  • 92
    Ms Wendy Morris, Associate, Port Douglas Steam Train Company, Official Committee Hansard, Port Douglas, 3 July 2017, pp 28-29.
  • 93
    Ms Wendy Morris, Port Douglas Steam Train Company, Official Committee Hansard, Port Douglas, 3 July 2017, p. 28.
  • 94
    Mr Evan Hall, Tourism Council WA, Official Committee Hansard, Perth, 23 August 2017, p. 10.
  • 95
    Mr Evan Hall, Tourism Council WA, Official Committee Hansard, Perth, 23 August 2017, p. 10.
  • 96
    Kakadu Tourism, Submission 8, p. 9.
  • 97
    Tourism Australia, ‘Crocodile Dundee Inspires New $36M American Tourism Push’, www.tourism.australia.com/en/news-and-industry-tools/latest-news/crocodile-dundee-inspires-new-american-tourism-push.html, Accessed 12 February 2018.
  • 98
    Kakadu Tourism, Submission 8, p. 9.
  • 99
    NT DTC, Submission 23, p. 9.
  • 100
    NT DTC, Submission 23, p. 10.
  • 101
    Queensland Government, Submission 40, p. 31.

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