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The Northern Territory wants to increase the number of tourists to 2.8 million a year – pumping $5.3 billion into the economy – by 2030.

Aboriginal tourism will be at the heart of the drive.

The exciting target is laid down in the Tourism Industry Strategy 2030, which was developed by Tourism NT in collaboration with industry and stakeholders as part of the Territory Government’s Turbocharging Tourism initiative.

The strategy includes three key themes needing greater focus:

• Resolving aviation issues: rebuilding air routes disrupted by the covid pandemic, and increasing the number of flights and overall capacity.

• Reducing seasonality: encouraging tourists to visit the Territory during the shoulder seasons, a campaign that depends on all-weather access, events and entertainment.

• Commitment to sustainability: with climate change more evident than ever, tourists want sustainable travel choices and investment should be driven towards developing the NT as a compelling destination for authentic sustainable travel.

Matching supply needs covering aviation, employment and accommodation have been identified to meet the strategy’s targets.

A total of 1,825,905 inbound seats – 340,205 additional interstate seats – will be required from 2019 levels, which translates to 5.2 additional narrow-body flights per day.

Nearly 10,300 tourism jobs will need to be filled – 3390 additional jobs – compared with 2021-22.

The equivalent of five new 250-room hotels at 75 percent average occupancy will have to open.

Tourism NT Executive Director Industry Development Valerie Smith says: “Tourism is an integral part of the Northern Territory economy and a significant contributor across regions. That is why it is so important we work in partnership with industry to set the right direction and key priorities over the next seven years.

“T2030 sets out new ambitious visitation and expenditure targets.

“In addition to the existing priorities, there are three additional focus areas: aviation access, sustainable tourism and increasing visitation during the shoulder seasons.

“We’re already working on a range of initiatives to address these opportunities, such as the Territory Aviation Attraction Scheme, our new Sustainable Tourism Toolkit and the Summer Done Differently campaign.

“However, we have more to do and we’re looking forward to partnering with tourism businesses and associations to build on our already thriving tourism industry.”

Aboriginal tourism is a key component of the NT’s Tourism Industry Strategy 2030.

Surveys consistently show that tourists want to learn about Indigenous culture.

There is no better place in Australia for holidaymakers to immerse themselves in authentic Aboriginal cultural experiences than the Territory.

Tourists on Aboriginal tourism contribute more than $200 million to the Territory economy annually.

The Territory Government is supporting the Indigenous tourism industry through the Aboriginal Tourism Grant program.

Forty five Aboriginal tourism businesses have been granted more than $1.74 million to help them build and diversify.

For instance, the Angkerle Aboriginal Corporation in Central Australia was last year awarded a grant to fully enclose and air-condition the cultural centre at Standley Chasm.

And Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation was awarded funding to support a cultural tourism plan.