NT Cruise Tourism Strategy 2022-25 released

  • 12 May 2022
aerial image of darwin harbour with two ships

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade has launched the Northern Territory Cruise Tourism Strategy 2022-2025 (NT Cruise Tourism Strategy) ahead of the Australian Cruise Association’s regional roadshow taking place at the Darwin Convention Centre today. 

The NT Cruise Tourism Strategy reflects emerging trends in the cruise industry prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the steps to be taken over the next three years to regrow the industry.


 

The number of passenger days spent in the Northern Territory almost tripled in the ten year period with 22,873 passenger days in 2008-09 to 60,205 in 2018-19, generating around $60 million of annual expenditure within the NT prior to COVID-19.

With the Australian Government lifting the Biosecurity declaration on 17 April 2022, enabling the cruise industry to safely resume in Australia, the Territory has once again been able to welcome international cruise ships with less than 350 persons on board to Top End waters, reigniting a multi-million dollar industry.  
 
The NT Cruise Tourism Strategy provides a roadmap to ensure cruise tourism continues to grow and support the Northern Territory’s tourism aspirations as well as contributing to the objectives in the NT’s Tourism Industry Strategy 2030, to grow the value of the visitor economy and improve the visitor experience.

Tourism NT will lead the implementation of the NT Cruise Tourism Strategy, working collaboratively with the Cruise Tourism Working Group and key stakeholders including cruise lines and related services, government, local tourism and retail associations and tour operators. 

The NT Cruise Tourism Strategy provides a framework for the ongoing development of the cruise sector in the Northern Territory through the following key actions to:
•    expand cruise tourism in the Northern Territory to grow the visitor economy
•    provide commercial opportunities to Territorians engaging with the cruise sector
•    promote Darwin as the preferred cruise gateway in Northern Australia; and
•    promote other Northern Territory cruise tourism destinations to ensure the economic benefits of cruise tourism are experienced in more of the Territory’s regions. 

In addition to the key actions there are four strategic pillars within the NT Cruise Tourism Strategy including:
•    Cruise Ship attraction - with an equal focus on both smaller expedition vessels where passengers are generally higher spend visitors as well as a focus on attracting larger ships carrying more passengers
•    Onshore experience - continue to develop and support the growth of exceptional retail and shore excursion experiences that cater for the length of time in port with consideration of the climate conditions throughout the Top End
•    Infrastructure and operational support services - ensuring cruise ship infrastructure and facilities are currently appropriate for customer expectations and to meet future markets and demands; and 
•    Communication and collaboration - enhance and maintain communication with cruise lines and relevant stakeholders as well as neighbouring cruise destinations to ensure a targeted and coordinated approach is in place for cruise tourism.

The NT Cruise Tourism Strategy was facilitated by Tourism NT in partnership with AEC Group Pty Ltd and the Cruise Tourism Working Group which comprises key stakeholders including Tourism Top End, Developing East Arnhem Limited, Darwin City Retailers Association, Darwin Port, Darwin Waterfront Corporation, City of Darwin and Activate Darwin.

To learn more about the cruise market and view the NT Cruise Tourism Strategy go to tourismnt.com.au/strategies

Quotes from Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade’s Deputy Chief Executive Tourism Scott Lovett:

“The NT Cruise Tourism Strategy prioritises key product and marketing opportunities, allowing the Territory to capitalise on post COVID-19 trends and domestic tourism growth.

“Cruise tourism can offer important economic contributions across the Northern Territory, with cruise passengers spending at local businesses, enjoying experiences that showcase the Territory’s natural assets and participating in Aboriginal cultural activities.”

Quote from Tourism NT Board of Commissioners Chair Michael Bridge:

“Cruise tourism is a key contributor to the Territory’s tourism sector and the NT is proactively engaging with cruise lines and industry stakeholders and providing appropriate infrastructure and services to ensure the benefits of this sector reach the whole of the Northern Territory.”

Page last updated on 12 May 2022