Tourism has been the lifeblood of the Darwin economy. It has been recently referred to as the 3rd economic driver by the Chief Minister in his view of what lies ahead in 2017.
I think for too long the focus has been on mining and agriculture, both worthy big ticket industries but seriously, think about it. Tourism is a sustainable, joyful industry. It enables people from all over the world to come here and learn about our culture.
Call me naive, but I believe that tourism has a role to play in world peace. There, I’ve said it. Yep, I reckon that travel broadens the mind and gives you the opportunity to experience something unique. The premise is simple, the more you know about another country’s culture, the less likely you are to want to blow it up. But I digress back to Tourism and Darwin.
This week, for the first time ever, we will host the Australian Tourism Awards in Darwin. It will bring us a host of opportunities to showcase our beautiful city to the very people who can become our advocates throughout Australia.
The City of Darwin values tourism, and have, for many years, provided an operational grant to Tourism Top End, this year to the value of $100,000. We are also working with Tourism NT and other stakeholders to provide a great city experience for the tourists who will alight from the many visiting cruise ships.
Just last week I announced that we will be working with the Darwin Waterfront City Retailers Association and the Mindil Markets to deliver a Pop Up Mindil in The Mall on Sunday 26 Feb in specific response to a cruise ship that will be docking overnight. I really hope the community gets behind this effort and comes into the city to joy in the fun.
There are many more actions that we are working on as suggestions from the City Centre Summit that I held in October last year and I’m really looking forward to hearing about the fruits of our combined labour.
Tourism is essential to the economic health of our City, and I am happy to welcome all tourists from the humble backpacker (just please camp legally) to the high end, high net value 5 star only traveller. I know they will have an awesome experience no matter when or how they travel.
On a final note, does anyone know why we don’t have an “I 💚 Darwin” T-shirt?