Five reasons to invest in the NT

The Northern Territory is a good place to do business - with a highly skilled and flexible workforce, a diverse cultural mix and highly regarded, well supervised financial environment.  Among the Northern Territory’s industries, the Territory’s tourism industry is the largest employer and is valued in excess of $2.0 billion per annum.

1. Sustained tourism growth

ayers rock resort northern territory australia

The Northern Territory has a well-established, world-wide reputation as a unique tourism destination centred on extraordinary natural landscapes and rich aboriginal culture. Markets segments including holiday, corporate, cruise, business events and special interest segments are all performing well.

In addition to a growing interstate visitation, local Territorians enjoy experiencing the many holiday options within the NT and this represents a significant proportion of the demand for tourism experiences.

As the northern gateway city to Asia, Darwin is Australia’s second fastest growing capital city. Darwin is home to a modern, world-class convention centre, a casino, some 4000 accommodation rooms, numerous attractions and an award-winning, 24/7  international airport. Darwin’s cruise terminal facilities will also double its capacity by 2020, positioning Darwin for a new era of north/south cruise itineraries.

At the physical heart of Australia and framed by the picturesque MacDonnell Ranges is Alice Springs, a modern town with a convention centre, casino and 1500 hotel rooms; all just three hours flying time from most major Australian capital cities.

West of Alice Springs and directly accessible by air through the resort town of Yulara is undoubtedly Australia’s most famous icon - Uluru (Ayers Rock). Ayers Rock Resort with a total of 524 accommodation rooms across a range of hotel categories caters for a strong international and interstate travel market, across holiday and business events markets. Over 65 tours, local activities and attractions within the Resort and the Uluru (Ayers Rock) - Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) National Park are on offer.

Ranging from automotive, to performing arts and sport, the Northern Territory enjoys a strong calendar of major events each year attracting strong interstate and intrastate visitation.

2. Close proximity to Asia's Travel Markets

Darwin is closer to the strong outbound travel markets of Asia than any other Australian capital city. By 2020, more than half the world’s middle class is predicted to come from Asia and Darwin is just four hours flying time to 485 Million people. Singapore, connected by daily flights to Darwin, is the regional headquarters for some 5,000 corporations which represent significant potential for incentive travel and corporate meetings business. Also within the four-hour flight time, the Northern Territory’s potential to connect with travellers beyond Asia via 69 international airports offers easy access to global travel markets.

map northern territory australia

3. Strong Government commitment to tourism

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In February 2017, the Northern Territory Government began its $103 million Turbocharging Tourism Stimulus Package to attract more visitors, create more local jobs and put more money into the pockets of Territorians.

Tourism is a cornerstone of the NT economy, supporting thousands of small and medium size businesses and 16,300 direct and indirect jobs across a range of sectors including tourism, hospitality, retail, arts and culture and transport. Rolling out over two financial years, the Tourism Stimulus Package is delivering an additional:

  • $26.57 million for smarter and more targeted tourism marketing, allowing us to better promote our attractions, roll out marketing campaigns with key airlines, target niche markets and lure lucrative business events here
  • $56.24 million for new tourism infrastructure and related tourism programs creating more memorable experiences for our visitors, particularly in our parks and reserves
  • $20.78 million to further enhance our existing festivals, events and other tourism experiences to cement the Territory's reputations as a vibrant and exciting place to live, work and visit.

This continued commitment is helping to ensure the momentum continues and the Territory reaches the target of a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020. Pivotal to this success is investment in new and enhanced tourism experiences.

To find out more, go to

4. Strong performing economy

Tourism is one of five economic pillars that underpin the Northern Territory’s strong, vibrant and multi-faceted economy. According to Deloitte Access Economics, the outlook is for the Territory economy to grow by an average of 3.2 per cent per annum over the five years to 2022-23. This is the second highest economic growth forecast of all jurisdictions, behind Queensland. DAE forecasts the national economy to grow by an average annual rate of 2.8 per cent over the five year period.

DAE notes that despite the outlook for domestic demand being subdued, exports are expected to be a key driver of Territory economic growth, as the Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant increases production. Territory economic growth over the five years to 2022-23 is expected to be supported by:

  • international goods exports, which are forecast to strengthen to an average growth rate of 19.1 per cent; 
  • private equipment investment, at an average growth of 4.6 per cent; 
  • private housing investment, with an average growth rate of 3.6 per cent per annum; and 
  • household consumption, with an average growth rate of 3.0 per cent. 

5. Australian Government commitment to developing Northern Australia

map northern territory australiaRealising the full economic potential of Northern Australia via development is a priority for the Australian Government to underpin Australia’s economic future, long-term security and regional engagement. The Northern Territory’s tourism industry is a direct beneficiary of this commitment. To promote private sector participation in the major infrastructure required to develop the north of Australia, the Australian Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility is an initiative to boost major infrastructure developments that will both directly and indirectly benefit the Tourism sector.

Download the Northern Australia Development Office Fact sheets.

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Cove, SKYCITY Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Contact us

Daryl Hudson, Tourism Investment Attraction
t: +61 8 8999 6020

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