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Northern Australia promoted as Asia add-on

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Flight time from Bali to Darwin is only two hours
As Australia’s closest gateway to Europe, more holidaymakers should consider the Northern Territory as an extension of a holiday in south-east Asia the tourism chief for the region says.
Adam Coward, executive director marketing and communications at Tourism NT, told TTG Asia at Australian Tourism Exchange 2016 in Queensland that the tourism board was working to highlight ease of access to the territory, which can be reached in just 16 hours from London, for example, via Singapore.
“It’s the fastest way into Australia,” he said. “It’s a huge selling point.”
The tourism board is keen to promote the route to Singapore and on to regional capital Darwin, because of the knock-on effect it has on average length of stay.
“They’re staying twice as long if they come direct,” he explained. “They’ll spend 14 days in Northern Territory, rather than seven days if they come via Sydney.”
Encouraging itineraries that combine Asia with the Northern Territory is also an aim.
Tourism NT has conducted research among the 900,000 Europeans that visit Bali each year and found that the majority of visitors did not realise the flight time to Darwin was only two hours. Of those surveyed, 25% said they would have added Northern Territory onto their itinerary.
“If you’re doing Asia why not add on the outback? Darwin’s really as much a part of a southeast Asia holiday as it is an Australia holiday.”
Another focus for the tourism board is bringing back the backpacker market. “It’s our biggest challenge and opportunity,” Coward said. He explained that the mining boom had meant a shortage of hotel rooms, which had driven prices up, but added that circumstances had since changed.
“At the higher price it was a bit harder to get [the backpacker market],” he said. “We need to inform them that Northern Territory is back on.”
TTG Asia

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