International Survey Highlights Increased Northern Territory Visitor Numbers

International Survey Highlights Increased Northern Territory Visitor Numbers

Northern Territory Minister for Tourism and Culture Lauren Moss

International Visitor Survey Supports Turbocharging Tourism Plan

Victor P Taffa

Tourism Research Australia has released the results from the latest international Visitor Survey (IVS) for the year ending December 2017 providing insight into international visitor trends to the Northern Territory in comparison to the rest of Australia.

Following the release, Minister for Tourism and Culture, Lauren Moss said while the Red Centre is faring better than the Top End in terms of international visitation, we need to continue driving demand right across the Territory.


Minister Moss said the figures confirmed the need for the Territory Government’s additional $103 Million investment into Turbocharging Tourism to provide much-needed immediate stimulus to the industry and the economy more broadly.

Over the next 2 years, the stimulus package will see more money inserted into marketing the Territory and our many attractions, more money into enhancing our existing tourism product and creating new ones plus more money into supporting our festivals and events to become exciting tourist offerings.

“Returns from investing in tourism are significant for every dollar we spend in tourism marketing, we see about $37 back into the economy, back into Territorians’ pockets.” Minister Moss said.

“More visitors we attract here, the more jobs we create and sustain and the greater the return. And the longer we can keep people here, the more they spend.”

“Flow-on benefits ripple through many of our key industry sectors retail, hospitality, transport, construction to name a few.”

According to Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey, 293,000 international visitors travelled to the Northern Territory in 2017, an increase of 2.2% on the 2016 calendar year.

Small increase in international visitors was mainly driven by a slight increase in holiday visitation of 1.2% (253,000 visitors), as well as international visitors coming to the Northern Territory for business purposes (up by 18% to 12,000 visitors) and to visit friends and relatives (up by 6.4% to 20,000). Employment visitation remained steady at 10,000 visitors.

Average spends per trip for international holiday visitors increased by 7.8% to $1,411. This result was partly due to the Northern Territory attracting more visitors from markets that have a higher average spend such as Greater China and France, with the total international holiday visitor spend experiencing an increase of 9.1% to $357 Million.

Average spend per trip for all purpose international visitors coming to the Northern Territory has increased by 7.5% to $1,591 with the total international visitor spend increasing by 9.9% to $467 Million compared to the previous year.

Visitation to Central Australia accounted for most of this growth, highlighting the need for a strong focus on attracting more international visitors to the Top End.

With other States, aside from Western Australia, experiencing growth in holiday and all-purpose visitation, the Northern Territory’s market share for international holiday visitors decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.7%.

Northern Territory’s market share for all purpose international visitors also decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 3.6%.

Best performing holiday markets for the Northern Territory for the year ending December 2017 were:

  • Greater China with an increase of 24% or 3,000 extra holiday visitors,
  • France with an increase of 22% or 2,500 extra holiday visitors,
  • Scandinavia had an increase of 21 % or 1,500 extra holiday visitors,
  • Italy with an increase of 15% or an extra 1,500 visitors.

“International visitor data results confirm the challenges facing our jurisdiction with more work to be done to support our regions and work will continue with the regional tourism organisations to encourage dispersal of visitors.” Minister Moss said.

“Tourism is a critical industry for the Northern Territory and the Government will continue to invest in attracting more visitors to all regions of the Territory, supporting local businesses and creating jobs.”