This week I announced that I will be leaving the Territory, and my role as CEO of the Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture on 20 March, 2020.
It has been an absolute pleasure to lead the Department during a period of significant growth for tourism, with an unprecedented investment from the Northern Territory Government aimed at increasing holiday visitors.
Through the combined efforts of our team with you, our industry partners, significant results have been achieved. Tourism is now worth $2.6b to the Territory economy (up 18%) and the NT has welcomed a total of 1.95m visitors (up 6.7%). This includes an 8.9% increase in total domestic holiday visitors, and a 6% increase in total international holiday visitors. (Year-to-Date Sept 2019).
The Tourism 2030 strategy provides a solid road map to the future, and already the team has shown our ability to adapt activities under the plan to respond to unforeseen market shocks, that are sometimes a feature of the tourism operating environment.
The year ahead will be a challenge as the impacts of both the Australian Bushfires and COVID-19 continue to be felt, however, Tourism NT was able to quickly develop the $2 million Tourism Resilience Plan as a positive step towards helping local industry in the first instance, and we will continue to adapt as market conditions evolve. The relationships that have been built between the Department, Tourism Top End, Tourism Central Australia and all of our individual industry partners will be key to supporting the sector through this period and in leading the recovery efforts.
I am incredibly proud of the Department’s work to successfully deliver on a huge program of work across many areas, to create compelling reasons to live in and visit the Northern Territory.
Our team is dedicated to attracting more visitors to the NT, creating an enviable place to live and work, to conserve our natural and cultural assets for future generations. Along with Tourism NT and NT Business Events teams, I would like to recognise the other areas of the Department who play a role in developing and delivering these outcomes, including: Arts NT, Araluen Arts Centre and Screen Territory, Parks and Wildlife, the Territory Wildlife Park, Alice Springs Desert Park, George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Northern Territory Library and Archives, Grants, Sport and Active Recreation including the NTIS, the Heritage team, Media and Communications as well as Executive and Strategic Services. I certainly feel honoured to have worked across such a diverse portfolio.
I can confirm the interim management arrangements post my departure, with Andrew Hopper initially acting in the role of Chief Executive Officer.
I thank you for your support and wish you every success for the future.
Chief Executive Officer