Education tourism visitors have positive economic and social impacts across the Territory. Stimulating regional areas and city centres with valuable travel expenditure, they support a wide range of signature experiences including nature based activities, art, history and heritage attractions plus the Aboriginal tourism sector.
With contrasting landscapes and outstanding natural assets, the NT hosts a wide variety of inspiring learning opportunities and experiences, making it an ideal destination to deliver on the needs of the education tourism sector, both internationally and domestically.
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Domestic education tourism
The NT has strong links to a wide range of key learning areas in the Australian curriculum including; natural sciences, geography, history, humanities and social sciences plus health and physical education. A market advantage also exists with the NT’s ability to address the cross-curriculum priorities of sustainability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture, as well as Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia.
The school excursion market is highly competitive and exhibits a range of complexities that distinguish it from mainstream leisure and business travel markets. A strong, consistent commitment is needed from all stakeholders to achieve sustainable, high-quality results.
Establishing long term relationships between schools, agents, operators and the destination is key to increasing the NT’s share of this market. It is vital that operators recognise each other in this sector and work together to complement the whole of NT as an educational destination.
To attract and support the experience of visiting school groups Tourism NT delivers the NT Learning Adventures program and the Domestic Education Tourism Plan 2023-2028 (the Plan) summarises the aspirations of this program and outlines an action plan of activities to deliver on those aims.
The five year Plan aims to:
- drive sustained growth and diversification in the education tourism market
- increase collaboration and coordination between tourism operators, government, and education sectors
- market the Territory to education organisations
- enhance the skills and knowledge of tourism businesses in adapting and evolving their offering to meet changing visitor expectations
- foster an increasing consciousness with the tourism industry of environmental and social sustainability and encourage responsible travel.
Tourism NT is committed to developing a strong network of relevant education tourism product throughout the NT and are seeking to partner with NT operators who can service the distinct needs of visiting schools.
To support this sector, Tourism NT has worked with tourism operators, education agents, schools and other stakeholders to create ‘NT Learning Adventures (NTLA)’.
NTLA's core objective is to position the NT as the Australian school excursion learning destination of choice. It promotes NT experiences that align with the Australian curriculum and builds the relationship between schools and the destination. Facilitating industry connections to support the development of itineraries that deliver tangible learning outcomes to students, NTLA makes it easy for educators and agents to choose the NT.
Providing operators with a deeper understanding of the education sector, some benefits of partnering with NTLA include:
- access to key market insights
- preference for all activities associated with this sector
- workshops in line with market needs
- exposure through the NTLA webpage and other promotional activities
- invitation to participate in targeted marketing opportunities
- information on working with key external stakeholders to build commercial opportunities
- networking and collaboration opportunities
- representation of your product/s in sector trade activities
- participation in research activities.
NT Learning Adventures (NTLA) offers funding to eligible schools through the NTLA Save and Learn program, to help with travel costs.
The rebate is available to schools who travel with a minimum of ten students, meet a minimum night requirement (see terms and conditions for further details) in the Northern Territory and book with at least three NTLA experiences and/or activities. The program aims to attract more school excursions to the NT and grow this valuable sector.
For more details on the NTLA Save and Learn program, check out the full terms and conditions and download the application form at ntlearningadventures.com.
Save and Learn insights
The Save and Learn program provides valuable data on schools' travel and booking behaviour. A factsheet has been prepared to share insights from the program, providing financial year data from participating schools. More information on the data can be found in the following factsheet.
See here for an archive of factsheets from previous time periods.
Help spread the word
NTLA operators and partners, education travel agents and other stakeholders are encouraged to promote the NTLA Save and Learn program as an incentive for schools to book and travel to the NT.
Help spread the word and feature the Save and Learn program on your website and in other promotional activities. Download the Save and Learn poster here and save the image tile (below) to use in your email signature and other marketing collateral.
Study NT promotes the Northern Territory as a study destination for international students. Working with education providers, businesses and local communities, Study NT welcomes international students to discover new pathways and academic success in Australia’s Northern Territory.
International students add to the Territory’s vibrant multi-cultural community and contribute to the tourism and hospitality workforce.
International study tour group travel is an emerging market opportunity for the Northern Territory, presenting a cross over between international study and international youth leisure tourism.
This niche market looks for coordinated programs that balance appropriate product and experiences with in-school programs and homestay accommodation options. Many Northern Territory schools welcome groups of overseas students to study and share in classroom activities.
For further information on international study tours visit Study NT's website.
Study NT has compiled information on the value of international students to the NT in the latest International Student Snapshot.
The International Students Study factsheet draws on findings from a survey conducted in March 2021 on international students currently studying in Darwin. It explores their interest in tourism experiences and working regionally in hospitality.