NT eyes Singapore, Malaysia markets with increased air links

Uluru from viewing platform
A view of Uluru, Northern Territory — Credit: Tourism Northern Territory

INCREASED airline activity to Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) has benefited leisure traffic into the area and allowed the destination to “adapt to mature markets” such as Singapore and Malaysia.

NT’s existing daily Jetstar service from Singapore to state capital Darwin was joined in November by Malaysia Airlines’ four-weekly flights between Kuala Lumpur and Darwin.

SilkAir will boost its frequency between Singapore and Darwin from four to five times weekly come June and upgrade its aircraft for this route to the new Boeing 737-800 from October, said Tourism NT’s international marketing executive, Philip Haines.

“The availability of low-cost and premium airline options will boost NT’s ability to adapt to mature market such as Singapore and Malaysia, only four-and-a-half hours away, and to tap repeat visitors. Transit travellers from the burgeoning China market and Europe will also have easy access,” said Haines.

The NTO mounted a travel trade seminar and tabletop mini-mart with a dozen NT travel suppliers in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur this week.

Charles Leong, managing director of Pacific Leisure Marketing, the NTO’s marketing representative in Singapore, said the increase in air capacity opened up more opportunities for schools to plan “Nature 101” field trips for their students, and the company was working with specialist travel consultants to promote the destination.

For 2014, NT is promoting Self-Drive in NT to travellers from Singapore and Malaysia focusing on five different routes – Nature’s Way, Red Centre Way, Savannah Way, Explorer’s Way, and Binns Track; the new Crocodylus Park; and Events and Festivals such as the July 6 Beer Can Regatta in Darwin and the July 12 Lasseters Camel Cup in Alice Springs.

Hotel developments are advancing too. H Hotel and Élan Soho Suites will boost Darwin’s room inventory with 186 rooms and 168 rooms respectively. Hilton Worldwide has taken over three properties in Darwin from InterContinental Hotels Group (TTG Asia e-Daily, February 15, 2013).

Halikos Hospitality, which manages H Hotel, will refurbish Crab Claw Island Resort, said general manager Geoff Weeks.

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