Singaporeans are eschewing Australia’s traditionally popular cities like Sydney and Melbourne in favour of the Outback for their adventure fix.
Known for Ayers Rock in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the Northern Territory (NT) has recently been attracting the interest of Singaporeans with its national parks and outdoor activities.
“A lot of our customers have been to Australia before, and now they’re looking for new things to do. NT has things that the rest of Australia is not offering,” said Holiday Tours’ head of MICE and leisure, Cindy Loo.
Adventure-focused travel agency Travel Wander has also identified NT as a unique Australian destination where travellers can engage in outdoor activities while appreciating “undiscovered” natural attractions, said the agency’s founder Sheryl Lim.
Recognising this demand, Tourism Northern Territories last week brought its sales mission back to Singapore after a hiatus of four years. The roadshow connected Singapore and Malaysia travel agents with 18 territory operators under the Adventure NT theme.
The Northern Territory Government’s minister for tourism and culture, Lauren Moss, told TTG Asia: “Numbers have been increasing from Singapore, as well as Greater China and Japan.”
NT saw 29,000 visitors from Asian countries outside Greater China and Japan in 2017, and for the year ending March 2018 received 49 per cent more visitors from China to reach 13,000. This number is projected to reach 30,000 by 2020, said Moss.
She added that this region has “untapped potential” for tourism into NT, and the government will be channelling more resources into marketing in countries such as Singapore, such as an additional A$103 million (US$73 million) for its two-year tourism budget.
These funds will go towards new attractions to be rolled out “over the next couple of years”, said Moss. These include opening up new swimming spots in Litchfield National Park and a A$12 million mountain-biking trail through the Red Centre.
She said: “People are well-acquainted with places like Melbourne and Sydney, and now they’re looking for different experiences. We know that people are looking for authentic opportunities to experience aboriginal culture so we’re focusing a lot more on that.
“We are moving towards demonstrating a more modern NT and the new experiences you can have there.”