Alice Springs Visitor Centre Move To Todd Mall Pays Off With Tourist Numbers Up

Alice Springs Visitor Centre Move To Todd Mall Pays Off With Tourist Numbers Up

Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles

Golden Night For NT At National Tourism Awards

Victor P Taffa

It’s been a golden night for the Northern Territory at the prestigious Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, with local tourism operators winning three gold medals at the gala event in Melbourne.

NT tourism businesses also picked up three silver and two bronze medals with Northern Territory tourism pioneer and last year’s Tourism Minister’s perpetual trophy winner, Geoff McGeary OAM, named an Australian Tourism Legend.

Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Adam Giles said picking up eight medals on Australian tourism’s night of nights was a fantastic result for the Northern Territory.


“The Northern Territory’s tourism industry continues to set the bar high when it comes to delivering world-class tourism experiences and tonight’s awards prove that.” Chief Minister Giles said.

“With our unique attractions and spectacular natural landmarks, a holiday in the Northern Territory really is a holiday like none other.”

“The world is taking notice and we are seeing positive signs of more people choosing to visit the Northern Territory for a holiday, with a 14% increase in the total number of visitors to the NT in the three years to September 2015.”

The three gold medal winners were Venture North for Best Cultural Tourism, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia for Best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism and the Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre for Best Visitor Information Services.

Chief Minister Giles said it was the second time the family-run Venture North had won the award, cementing their place as the must-do cultural experience in Australia.

“It’s great to see Venture North claim this award yet again. Specialising in taking guests ‘off the beaten track’ and into some of the most remote and pristine parts on the Northern Territory, they recently added a remote safari style camp on the Coburg Peninsula with the help of funding through the NT Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund.” Chief Minister Giles said.

“This has enhanced their visitor experience greatly with the national judges clearly sitting up and taking notice.”

Chief Minister Giles said the recognition for the Alice Springs Visitor Centre was huge and helped keep the town on the tourism map.

“The Centre was re-located to a prime location in the Todd Mall with the assistance of the NT Government in 2013 and the move has paid off with visitor numbers up.” Chief Minister Giles said.

“The Alice Springs Visitor Centre was also the first Australian visitor centre to introduce a queuing system that also collates market research data.”

“For Voyages, it was back to back gold, recognised for the second year straight for their unique and authentic Aboriginal visitor experiences for every taste and budget at the Ayers Rock Resort.”

“I congratulate all of the winners who continue to inspire our industry and offer visitors an outstanding holiday they’ll never forget.” Chief Minister Giles said.


2015 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards

Northern Territory Winners

Gold Awards

Cultural Tourism – Venture North

Venture North specialises in taking guests ‘off the beaten track’ and into some of the more remote and pristine parts on the Northern Territory. Guests travel in luxury 4wd vehicles, escorted by expert guides on journeys that are educational and enlightening. Venture North offer a remarkable cultural tourism experience by holding a special permit to tour Arnhem Land and operate a remote safari style camp on the Cobourg Peninsula. Local indigenous people share their extraordinary culture, interpreted through a variety of mediums including art, song, dance, hunting and traditional plant uses.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism – Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia

Voyages offer unique experiences and cultural immersion in spectacular locations around Australia including Ayers Rock Resort. Voyages works collaboratively with local communities to assist them to exercise sustainable environmental tourism practices, respecting and supporting the local Indigenous cultures and offering employment and training opportunities to the local and broader Australian and Torres-Strait Islander Indigenous communities.

Visitor Information Services – Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre

Tourism Central Australia is the Regional Tourism Organisation for the Red Centre of Australia which geographically covers Uluru, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and all the spectacular places in between. The organisation’s core functions are to provide visitor information services through the Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre, strategically market the region to potential visitors and help develop and grow the tourism industry in Central Australia. In the past 12 months, the Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre developed products and services that have set it apart from its competitors including the incredibly popular free walking tour for visitors and they are also the first Australian visitor centre to introduce a queuing system that also collates market research data.

Silver Awards

Business Event Venue – Alice Springs Convention Centre

Almost exactly in the middle of Australia, the Alice Springs Convention Centre boasts 11 separate meeting and event areas, state of the art facilities and a dedicated sales and operations team and is the perfect location to showcase the rich cultural heritage and the unique landscape the Red Centre has to offer.

Adventure Tourism – Uluru Camel Tours

Uluru Camel Tours offer camel experiences that can’t be beaten anywhere in Australia, with stunning views of World Heritage listed Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Selected from the sixty camels a camel train departs five times daily on fun and informative guided camel rides at sunrise, sunset the camel express or a one-way ride to the Sounds of Silence dinner.

Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services – AAT Kings

AAT Kings’ award-winning exclusive Uluru Barbecue Dinner is the only evening dining experience inside Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park and can be enjoyed after sunset with Uluru as the stunning backdrop. AAT Kings friendly and engaging team ensure guests have an unforgettable Aussie BBQ experience in a once-in-a-lifetime holiday destination while setting up and dismantling the BBQ without a trace each day.

Bronze Awards

Ecotourism – Sea Darwin

Sea Darwin is an eco-certified marine based cruise company which offers year round interpretative experiences in the Top End saltwater country. Offering awe inspiring turtle and marine habitat encounters. Cruises acknowledge the entire ecosystem from crocodiles to birds to box jellyfish and the culture and traditions that have been formed around them. Offering four diverse marine tourism products, Sea Darwin’s mission is to showcase Darwin Harbour and the turtles of Bare Sand Island in a way that fosters sustainability and lasting connections with this unique part of Australia.

Tour and Transport Operators – Uluru Camel Tours

Uluru Camel Tours is an owner operated tour business located at Voyages Ayers Rock Resort alongside the Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Park in the Red Centre of Australia. Uluru Camel tours have a range of tours to suit all visitors whether on a short ride 15 minute ride at the farm or on board the camel train, one of the five different longer guided tours. Camels can even transfer guests to Voyages iconic Sounds of Silence dinner.

Winner – Australian Tourism Legend

Geoff McGeary OAM is the founder and owner of Australia Pacific Tours (APT). Mr McGeary took over his family touring business 50 years ago and his first foray into the Northern Territory came in 1964, when he took a group of Melbourne students on a camping trip to Central Australia. Since then his business has grown with offices in New Zealand, the UK and the USA, bringing overseas visitors to visit Australian and the Northern Territory. APT has become one of the leading travel companies in Australia, and the world, offering more than 100 different holidays to every corner of the globe, including the Northern Territory.