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					Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan
May 2006
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS.........................................................................................................1
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .......................................................................................................2
INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................................6
THE GLOBAL MARKET ........................................................................................................8
THE AUSTRALIAN BACKPACKER MARKET.......................................................................9
THE NT BACKPACKER MARKET ......................................................................................10
ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION.............................................................................................11
PRIORITY ISSUES..............................................................................................................12
   Research..........................................................................................................................12
   Industry Structure.............................................................................................................12
   Marketing .........................................................................................................................14
   Access..............................................................................................................................14
      Air Access.....................................................................................................................14
      Road and Rail Access ..................................................................................................14
      Parks Access................................................................................................................15
   Product.............................................................................................................................15
   Accreditation / Industry Standards ...................................................................................15
   Policy Issues ....................................................................................................................15
PRIORITY AREA: RESEARCH ..........................................................................................17
PRIORITY AREA: INDUSTRY STRUCTURE.....................................................................18
PRIORITY AREA: MARKETING.........................................................................................19
PRIORITY AREA: ACCESS ...............................................................................................21
PRIORITY AREA: PRODUCT ............................................................................................22
PRIORITY AREA: ACCREDITATION & INDUSTRY STANDARDS ...................................23
PRIORITY AREA: POLICY .................................................................................................24
ATTACHMENT A: BACKPACKER TRENDS FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY ..........25




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                                                       1
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
‘Backpacker’ – what does it mean to the NT?

The preparation of this Development Plan has been challenged by the evolving characteristics and
preferences of the traveller referred to as ‘backpacker’. The traditional description of ‘backpacker’
encapsulates young persons in their early 20s who stay in dormitory style accommodation, travel
independently, seek adrenalin-packed adventure and enjoy the party life. It has become clear,
particularly via research undertaken as part of this project that the situation has changed and the
'backpacker' is a sub-set of a number of traveller types - refer diagram below.

                                                  Youth
                                                 Traveller



                  Young and Restless
                  (Tourism NT’s Domestic                     Education
                     Market Segment)                          Market


                                           Backpacker




                              Budget                            Self Challenger /
                             Traveller                         Experience Seeker
                                                             (Tourism Australia’s Market
                                                                     Segments)


                                             Working
                                             Holiday
                                             Makers



The Youth Traveller aligns readily with the traditional description of 'backpacker', as these travellers
seek free or inexpensive activities with high social interaction. ‘Backpackers’ are often Budget
Travellers electing to use cheaper transport and accommodation options in order to be able to
spend more on enjoying a full range of experiences. The 'backpacker' is also contained within
Tourism NT’s domestic market segment profile – the Spirited Traveller. They form a sub-set of the
Spirited Traveller called the Young & Restless and seek the freedom of travel and relish challenging
activities. These travellers often stay in hostels and other forms of budget accommodation and are
motivated by messages that strike a cord with other Spirited Travellers. Similar in outlook and
preferences is Tourism Australia's Self Challenger market that form part of a broader segment titled
the Experience Seeker. The 'backpacker' can also be a visitor travelling on a working holiday visa or
travelling primarily for volunteer or educational purposes.

Put simply, the ‘backpacker’ has a broad range of needs and comprises of a wide range of traveller
types making identification and visitation measurement difficult. When considered together, a
prevailing trend is the increasing desire for nature-based and cultural experiences with the type of
adventure sought being that which offers participatory, interpretative and educational experiences
(eg; hiking, canoeing, quad biking, bush tucker tours etc) which the Territory is well positioned to
offer. This traveller is also transcending the age barrier - the term 'backpacker' is no longer the
domain of the young. Given the fluidity and evolving nature of these travellers, a psycho graphically
(attitudinal) driven definition may be more suitable rather than continuing with one based on
demographics. The question of definition is one that continues to be debated at the national level.

For the purposes of this Plan, the term used to describe the type of traveller that offers the most
opportunity for this sector of the Territory's tourism industry is ‘Experiential Backpacker’. It aims to
describe visitors from the Territory’s core source markets that want to get ‘out and about’ in order to
enrich themselves on a personal level through interactive nature-based and cultural experiences.




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                       2
Research has shown that the ‘experiential backpacker’, particularly those focusing on work,
volunteer and/or educational opportunities, is becoming more sophisticated and discerning in their
choice of accommodation; opting for alternative forms of budget accommodation. They are also
prepared to travel vast distances to achieve their desired experiences which, for the Territory,
benefits regional dispersal. Research also suggests that ‘experiential backpackers’ are amongst the
first consumer groups to ‘take-up’ product and services and, by doing so, influence the behaviour of
other consumers; thus creating demand and market sustainability.

Why then, given the Territory's wealth of natural assets and cultural tourism opportunities is it losing
market share? It's because the Territory, collectively, has focused on the traditional 'backpacker'
rather than the 'experiential backpacker'. The Territory cannot compete with beach party
experiences that are so readily, and more cheaply, available in other destinations. The Territory’s
competitive advantage lies in offering nature-based and cultural experiences tailored to entice the
‘experiential backpacker’, underpinned by work/education/volunteer opportunities and a diverse
range of budget accommodation options. To ensure success, it is vital that across industry and
Government a fundamental shift occurs in outlook, focus and the way things are done.

What to Do?

There are some issues that the Territory does not have direct control over and can only continue to
lobby the controlling entities for change eg; air access, visa conditions, taxation rules. The Plan
acknowledges these factors and identifies the need to leverage opportunities as and when the
external dynamics vary. The catalyst for real change is premised on drivers which are within the
Territory’s influence, namely: sharpened marketing efforts; alternative distribution channels, new
partnerships and product diversification. Specific action is detailed further within this document,
however, the focal points are:-

1.   Hone marketing efforts to influence the ‘experiential backpacker’ to consider the Territory a
     ‘must see’ destination and make it the first port of call on their Australian journey.

     To date, the Territory’s main marketing approach has been to target international backpackers
     who have already arrived in Australia on the east coast. Given the cheap airfares offered along
     the eastern seaboard, it is becoming more difficult for the NT to compete effectively in that
     environment. Tourism NT's marketing presence on the east coast will be streamlined and
     resources redirected to working in the home countries of the 'experiential backpacker', primarily
     UK, Europe and Canada, utilising a variety of consumer direct, online and co-operative trade
     activities.

2.   Leverage existing trade alliances, develop and extend new co-operative opportunities with non-
     traditional partners.

     Globally, the use of the internet by consumers to gather information, plan and book and pay for
     travel is increasing. This has impacted upon the relationship between consumers and suppliers
     with a decline in the reliance of intermediaries and a shift towards the consumers dealing
     directly with tourism operators. The Territory, therefore, needs to identify emerging online
     technologies that can effectively facilitate a wide variety of travel information provision and
     purchasing mechanisms. Working with partners who have positioned themselves strongly in the
     online distribution chain eg; Lonely Planet, Backpackers’ World Travel, YHA, Expedia, Visa are
     ways in which the Territory can better reach the consumer worldwide.

3.   Develop and promote work & travel, educational and volunteer opportunities. The Territory is
     losing opportunities due to the absence of these programs. This requires a collaborative and
     new partnering approach within Government and across the Territory's business sectors to
     broker and establish workable links between potential suppliers of these products and youth
     travel, work, volunteer and education specialists, including identifying in-market specialist
     distributors who could offer pre-registration for jobs and/or these programs in the Territory.



Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                       3
4.   Undertake PR activities to promote the awareness of the Northern Territory as a low cost point
     of entry into Australia and an easy place to find short term employment, particularly for the
     WHM visa holder.

5.   Explore opportunities with other destinations to enhance the appeal of point-to-point travel (eg;
     transit accommodation packages with Singapore).

     As low cost carriers appeal to this traveller, the commencement of Tiger Airways services has
     presented an opportunity not available before. However, as Tiger’s business model does not
     foster integrated arrangements with other carriers, the challenge for the Territory is to work with
     Tiger Airways and partner with wholesalers and retail agents in core source markets to package
     and promote 'point to point' travel by consumers (ie; travel to Singapore on mainstream
     international carriers and then change to travel to Darwin on Tiger).

     Tiger Airways is not the panacea for all aviation problems. Other international carriers such as
     Qantas, Australian Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines and Royal Brunei will continue
     to be lobbied to positively change the aviation dynamics for the Territory. Air capacity at
     competitive prices along key tourism routes remains a priority. Opportunities presented by all
     airlines, including the domestic services of low cost carrier Jetstar, will be supported by co-
     operative marketing options to ensure sustainability.

6.   Invigorate the Territory's tourism products and services to provide a combination of unique and
     differing experiences to be had in the Territory that will match the demands of the 'experiential
     backpacker'. This encompasses all product including tours, attractions and accommodation. For
     some hostels where accommodation is sold on a per-bed rather than per-room basis, the
     challenge will be to expand their range of accommodation to cater to this market, recognising
     the increased demand for private facilities, twin share or double rooms.

7. Support the Australian Government’s National Investment Strategy initiative to encourage a
   concerted effort by government and the industry to prevent illegal operations including
   illegitimate backpacker accommodation outlets, unlicensed tour operators, misleading
   advertising and touting. Local and federal government needs to address the issue of illegitimate
   operators in the NT as a matter of priority in order to protect the reputation and credibility of the
   Northern Territory backpacker industry, reduce risks, minimise costs and protect future
   investment projects.

Collectively, the Territory will continue to lobby for improved changes in national policy to promote
growth and sustainability of this sector, especially visa and taxation issues. Research will also
continue in order to provide further insights regarding the preferences and travel patterns of the
'experiential backpacker' to aid product diversification and marketing decisions.

How will success be measured?

In terms of visitation, measuring collective success will be an on-going challenge as long as the
definition for data collection remains narrowly associated with a traveller who has stayed at least
one night in hostel accommodation during their trip to Australia. However, growth in overall
international visitation to the Territory will be an indicator of success.

Two new research initiatives being introduced by Tourism NT during 2006 will assist in providing
improved data on trends associated with the ‘experiential backpacker’: Destination Surveys and the
Industry Performance Analyser for Tourism (IPAT).

Destination Surveys will capture visitors to the NT who, amongst other criteria: self-identify as a
backpacker; stay in hostels or other forms of budget accommodation; seek nature/culture and
interactive adventure activities; are looking for work, volunteer and/or education opportunities. This



Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                       4
information can then be analysed to assess demand-side trends in the ‘experiential backpacker’
market.

A performance index will be created in IPAT to monitor business activity among operators who
target or cater for the ‘experiential’ backpacker market. This information will help assess supply-side
trends.

Once the Destination Survey and IPAT systems are operational it will be possible to establish
benchmarks for the supply and demand aspects of the NT marketplace. In turn, visitation activity
targets can be set.

Other measures of success will include product diversification, the impact of new and extended
partnerships and results of campaigns and promotional activities undertaken in-market.

The Northern Territory has reached the stage where diversification is essential and the successful
implementation of this Plan relies on a collaborative and cohesive approach by the industry. Given
that the actions in this Plan are executed, and that all stakeholders are willing to work as a cohesive
force towards the common goal, there is no reason why the Territory’s backpacker industry cannot
grow and prosper.




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                      5
INTRODUCTION
The NT Backpacker Development Plan (the Plan) has been prepared in consultation with key
partners in the industry. The Plan provides a framework for the industry to work cooperatively to
position the Northern Territory (NT) as a competitive backpacker destination and to identify
opportunities to ensure the continual growth of the sector.

A number of round table meetings and one-on-one consultations were held with tourism operators,
the NT Backpacker Operators’ Association (NTBOA), regional tourism associations and other
government authorities. These forums, in conjunction with regular updates and briefings, provided
key stakeholders with the opportunity to actively contribute to the development of the plan and
reinforced the need for industry to take collective ownership of the future direction of the sector.

Additionally, a Backpacker Industry Panel was established in November 2005, involving four
representatives from the NT backpacker industry, including the President of the NTBOA, to provide
insights and market intelligence on the backpacker segment, based on their wide range of
knowledge, understanding and first-hand experience of the sector. These valuable insights have
been considered when developing strategic marketing campaigns and in the development of this
Plan.

The industry has agreed to work cooperatively to develop and implement strategies and activities
that will increase its collective competitiveness and market share. Whilst there is no ‘quick fix’,
there is undoubtedly a need for a sense of urgency, which is shared by all.

The aim of the Plan is to:

•   Identify key issues impacting upon the NT’s backpacker industry sector
•   Undertake a situation analysis and identify appropriate research and information needs
•   Identify challenges and key opportunities for future development
•   Acknowledge the contribution of the backpacker market segment to the tourism industry and the
    NT economy
•   Demonstrate means of increasing the NT’s backpacker market share
•   Provide a platform for the development of the industry sector

Under the Plan, seven priority areas have been identified. They include research, marketing,
industry structure, product, access, accreditation/industry standards and policy. This plan
represents the first stage of an ongoing process aimed at developing the industry.

The research undertaken as part of the development of this Plan seeks to analyse the current
market and make recommendations as to how the industry can improve its market share through
informed decision making. The challenge that remains is determining what or who is a backpacker,
the definition of which remains a topic of discussion within the industry as a whole. Backpacker is a
difficult phenomenon to define as it encompasses a wide range of activities and interests.

Tourism NT has commissioned Charles Darwin University to conduct extensive research utilising a
variety of information sources including existing literature, academic and market research,
stakeholder interviews, Tourism Research Australia reports, website reviews, blogs (ie web logs or
journals), and visitor surveys, however, there is no general consensus as to what constitutes a
backpacker.

Whilst the majority of backpackers share common characteristics, the market is not homogenous
and the NT backpacker displays many unique traits. In general terms the traditional backpacker has
a broad range of needs and comprises a wide range of traveller types.


Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                        6
There are varying interpretations based on a range of issues such as level of trip planning,
dispersal, purpose, budget, age, product consumption, information sources and resilience. Without
becoming too immersed in the definition debate, Tourism NT seeks to profile the NT ‘backpacker’
and the relevant opportunities for this market.

Although the main focus of this Plan is the international backpacker, the industry will continue to
embrace the domestic backpacker and recognise the important contribution it also makes to the
sector. (NB: Future research will include a closer look at the domestic backpacker ie; the
domestic traveller who tends to stay in hostel and other budget accommodation.)

The implementation of strategic activities in each of the priority areas, coupled with a cohesive
industry approach aims to provide direction for the future sustainable development of the
backpacker industry in the NT. It is essential the industry and support sectors work in partnership to
ensure the delivery of unique high quality experiences that reflect the current needs of the
backpacker, ensures the NT is high on the agenda of the backpackers’ itinerary and that
mechanisms for conversation are maximised.

It is worthwhile to note that in the context of this Plan, many of the challenges facing this segment
are not exclusive to the NT. It is therefore important that Tourism NT continues to develop and
nurture relationships beyond the NT, to continually monitor the changing trends and dynamics of this
sector.

It is vital that the Plan be considered in conjunction with existing NT strategies, namely:

    •   NT Tourism Strategic Plan 2003 – 2007
    •   NT Aviation Strategy 2004 - 2006
    •   Tourism NT Destination Development Strategy (being revised)
    •   NT Indigenous Tourism Strategy
    •   Tourism NT Corporate Plan




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                        7
THE GLOBAL MARKET
Australia is a long haul destination for most of our traditional source markets, including the United
Kingdom, United States of America and Europe. The NT’s capacity to attract long haul traffic is an
ongoing challenge reflected in our market share, which currently stands at approximately 0.7% of
total global international arrivals. Australia relies predominantly on air transport for both its long and
short haul markets. Fluctuations in air capacity, ticket pricing and services, therefore, have a direct
bearing on the tourism export industry. Australia currently ranks 41st in terms of world visitor
numbers (source: World Tourism Organisation).

It is difficult to source reliable data on international backpacking trends. However, Lonely Planet, in
conjunction with STA Travel, Visit Britain, Hostelling International, ISTC (Independent Student
Travel Corporation) and MTV conducted an online survey, known as “Travellers Pulse”, in 2004.
The findings from almost 200,000 respondents originating from 176 countries (including 23% from
the United Kingdom, 18% from the USA and 14% from Australia, with lower proportions from
Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden, NZ, Croatia, The Netherlands and Italy) sheds some light on
broad travel and lifestyle related trends among predominantly ‘independent’ travellers aged 18-35
years.

Results showed that Europe was the most popular region visited, followed by Asia, South and
Central America, Australasia and the Pacific, and Africa. However, the top five favourite ‘next
destinations’ to visit were Australia (No 1) followed by Chile, Brazil, New Zealand, India and Peru.

Other key findings in the “Travellers Pulse” report included:

    •   A significant growth in travel for lifestyle interests, with exploring other cultures and a sense
        of adventure being the main motivators
    •   Interaction with fellow travellers and/or locals is very important
    •   Short break travel patterns are emerging – over 30% of the respondents took 4 or more short
        breaks in 2003
    •   Dominance of the online channel in pre-planning
            o 91% frequently use the internet
            o 68% turn to guidebooks prior to leaving home
            o 39% book travel online direct with the supplier eg airline or tour operator
            o 19% use online travel agencies
            o 24% book through a traditional travel agency
    •   South and Central America are considered the ‘hot’ destinations, while Vietnam was also
        gaining popularity.

According to the Federation of International Youth Travel Organisations, Australia is fast becoming a
benchmarking destination by the youth, student and adventure travel industry. Three main travel
motivators for the youth market are:

    •   Education – combining study and travel
    •   Work Experience (inc volunteering) – combining work and travel
    •   Personal Development – combining personal development with independent travel




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                          8
This market is motivated by the desire to experience and the desire to increase personal equity
about the world and themselves. There are several different sectors of this industry:

    •   Adventure and backpacker
    •   Backpacker and work experience
    •   Backpacker and international education
    •   Language travel and work experience

Between 2000 - 2003 the focus for the Youth and Student markets was “adventure” now the shift is
moving towards work and education. In 2005 -

    •   30% of student travellers consider themselves as backpackers.
    •   83% of all young travellers report that exploring other cultures is the No 1 motivator, having
        excitement is No 1 for 74% of young travellers
    •   30% of young travellers learn a language or study


THE AUSTRALIAN BACKPACKER MARKET
For the purposes of research, Tourism Research Australia (TRA) defines a backpacker as a traveller
who spends one or more nights in a backpacker/hostel accommodation while travelling in Australia.

The backpacker market and industry in Australia have seen dramatic growth since the late 1980s
and is now a major sector of the tourism industry. Between 1999 and 2004 the number of
international backpackers generally increased, while the number of domestic backpackers has
varied. As reported by TRA, in 2004, backpackers accounted for 10% of the total inbound visitor
arrivals. There were 482,000 international backpackers who spent a total of 32.8 million nights in
Australia and 439,000 domestic backpackers who spent a total of 2.2 million nights in Australia. (NB
these figures show clearly that the domestic backpacker is quite different to the international
backpacker in terms of trip duration.)

The majority of international backpackers were from the UK, Germany and Other Europe and
accounted for 62% of visitors. The majority of international backpackers were aged between 20 and
29 years with 42% aged between 20 and 24 years, and 25% aged between 25 and 29 years.

International and domestic backpackers travelled for longer periods than other visitors. On average
they spent 68 nights and 5 nights per trip respectively, compared to 23 nights and 4 nights for non
backpacker visitors. (NB because the domestic backpacker data is quite different to the
international backpacker data, this sector will be examined more closely in future research.)

Backpackers do not spend all their nights in backpacker/hostel accommodation. In 2004, domestic
backpackers spent 65% of their nights in backpacker/hostel accommodation, also staying with
friends or relatives or in caravan or camping accommodation. For the same period, international
backpackers spent 39% of their nights in backpacker/hostel accommodation, opting for other forms
of budget accommodation including rented houses/apartments and homes of friends and relatives.
The increasing use of these alternate forms of accommodation, particularly for those backpackers
focussing on work and/or educational opportunities, may also support anecdotal evidence that some
hostels are discouraging long stays as they reduce revenue sourced from tour sales/commissions.
This demonstrates the importance of client turnover and the need to maximise additional revenue
opportunities through non-accommodation related sources.

In addition, competition in the backpacker/hostel accommodation market is increasing. As the graph
below indicates, from 1999 to 2003 there was a significant growth in hostel bed numbers across
Australia, while the number of international backpacker visiting Australia during the same period only
increased moderately – highlighting the fact that increase in supply outweighs the increase in
demand.


Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                       9
1999-2003 Comparison - National Hostel Bed Numbers and
International Backpacker Visitors


                                                                   60,000
                              820,000
                              770,000                              55,000
  International Backpackers




                              720,000
                                                                   50,000                 International




                                                                            Hostel Beds
                              670,000
                                                                                          Backpackers
                              620,000                              45,000
                                                                                          Beds
                              570,000                              40,000
                              520,000
                                                                   35,000
                              470,000
                              420,000                              30,000
                                        1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

Source: ABS and Tourism Research Australia 2003

The internet was the most popular source of information for international backpackers before they
came to Australia, followed by travel books or guides and a friend or relative who had previously
visited.

International backpackers to Australia visit an average of over six tourism regions during their stay in
Australia. The most popular regions for international backpackers in 2004 were Sydney, Tropical
North Queensland, Melbourne, Brisbane, The Whitsundays, Northern Rivers of NSW, Hervey Bay,
Gold Coast, Perth and Adelaide.

Backpackers are regarded as good value to Australia because they have a higher propensity to be
repeat visitors and often draw additional visitors to the destination through friends and relatives.

Overall Australia as a destination is solid however, that does not mean that individual destinations
within Australia are doing well. This is a dynamic and changing sector, global trends of shorter trips
and ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ destinations impact on backpacker trends and visitation to Australia and the NT.


THE NT BACKPACKER MARKET
The research undertaken in the development of this plan, has highlighted that the international
backpacker market to Australia consists of a very diverse group of travellers interested in work,
education, visiting friends and relatives, socialising and leisure activities.

Further analysis of data (particularly of trends over the last five years), has revealed that although
the international backpacker to the NT displayed similar characteristics to the international
backpacker to Australia, they also showed some unique traits, including:

1. Greater reliance on aircraft and organised coach tours, hence a greater need to plan a visit to
   the NT in advance.


2. Although international backpackers who visit the NT stay longer in Australia (102 nights in 2004)
   than backpackers who do not (68 nights in 2004), they spend little time in the NT as a whole,
   (10.8 nights). On average, backpackers visiting the NT have visited at least four or five other
   locations before arriving in the NT. It can be observed that length of stay (LOS) tends to
   decrease as the number of stopovers increases, thus creating another hurdle for the NT. The


Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                            10
    highest average length of stay in NT stopovers was 5 nights in the Top End and 3 nights in Alice
    Springs, whereas the average stay in any other (non NT) stopovers was nearly 8 nights.
    The issue of LOS is central to the potential value of backpackers to the NT. A higher LOS is
    associated with greater total expenditure and greater dispersal of expenditure.
3. There is a relative lack of diversity in accommodation forms used by backpackers in the NT. The
   market place is dominated by low cost accommodation choices (backpacker hostels and
   caravan parks) but also by a lack of longer term accommodation options, particularly legitimate
   rental houses and staying with friends and relatives. This represents a potential weakness
   compared with other destinations, for those considering extended visits.
4. The NT is a not regarded as a gateway to/from Australia, but a stopover destination (as less than
   10% of backpackers arrive in Australia via the NT.)
5. International backpackers to the NT are more likely to prefer activities based around nature,
   culture and adventure. As the backpacker matures, the preference for culture increases while
   adventure decreases, but the preference for nature remains constant. These ‘experiential’
   backpackers represent approximately three-quarters (or 72%) of the total number of
   backpackers to the NT, and the NT has the highest percentage of experiential backpackers than
   any other destination. It is their preparedness to travel that sets them apart.

The research has shown that market growth is being driven by the ‘experiential’ backpacker - ie where
they go today, the rest will tend to follow. Consequently, those destinations that are increasing their
market share of experiential backpackers are also increasing the total number of backpackers.
Although the NT is renowned for its nature and culture experiences, it is losing market share.
Reasons for this include (but are not limited to) air access - capacity, scheduling and competitive
pricing - into the NT both nationally and internationally, other destinations promoting themselves as
offering similar experiences and therefore there is no need to travel to the NT, increased work and
education opportunities in other parts of Australia and a decline in the length of stay within Australia.
The general trend towards backpackers doing shorter trips helps explain the decline in NT visitation
and, if ‘experiential’ backpackers are fewer and having shorter trips, this further exacerbates the
problem.
The NT is not a low cost destination therefore we need to influence backpackers to visit because of our
core values or brand truths which are based upon the building blocks of nature and culture experiences.

The challenges for the industry include:
    •   motivating the experiential backpackers to visit the NT earlier in their trip (analysis suggests
        that the highest yield backpackers to the NT are those who make the NT destinations their
        first stopover in Australia);
    •   encouraging them to organise their NT visit prior to departure from country of origin
        (particularly short stay backpackers);
    •   increasing length of stay ;
    •   identifying, assisting in the development of and promoting work & travel, education and
        volunteer opportunities; and
    •   ensuring the NT remains the recognised and preferred destination to experience nature and
        culture through invigorated products and services.

For a snapshot of how the NT compares to other states and Territories, please see Attachment A -
International Backpacker Trends for the NT.

ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION
Historically, the general tourism industry has been known to dismiss this market as being of little
value owing to the backpackers’ frugality with money. Whilst this profile may have arisen from the


Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                        11
choice of accommodation, it was not indicative of their expenditure on experiences, such as scuba
diving, camping safaris or scenic flights.

Attitudes are now more positive as the true value of the backpacker market is realised. The key
component of a backpackers’ trip is based around experiences. Their philosophy being why spend
all your money on expensive accommodation, when you can get a bed in a hostel for much less and
share the evening with fellow travellers, saving your money for the next adventure and finding out
the best places to experience it.

Backpackers are an important sector to the growth of the tourism industry and the broader economy.
They utilise locally owned products and services, open up new destinations, can demonstrate
resilience in times of crises (eg pilots strike in 1989, terrorists attacks, war etc), and have the
propensity to become return high spending visitors. Additionally they have a better understanding of
other cultures and societies, creating a positive impact on the individual themselves.

PRIORITY ISSUES
Research
It is widely acknowledged that the backpacker market is a diverse and complex traveller group.
Although the research to date has provided some good insights, further information is needed to aid
the development of strategies for strengthening and growing the NT market share. For example,
there is a need to:
     • Conduct focus groups to provide greater insight into backpacker motives, interests and
         behaviour, particularly in regard to planning practices as well as education, volunteer and
         work opportunities;
     • Complete a more detailed review and analysis of trends and issues relevant to the domestic
         market;
     • Examine potential alliances with WA and SA, to help counter the east coast dominance;
     • Assess the impact and implications of new low cost carrier services (e.g. Tiger Airways and
         Jetstar) on travel patterns and visitor behaviour; and
     • Introduce new data collections, such as Destination Surveys and the Industry Performance
         Analyser for Tourism (IPAT), to improve capacity for monitoring and evaluating backpacker
         visitation and business performance trends (including establishment of visitation benchmarks
         and targets).

Industry Structure

Tourism NT is the lead agency in the marketing and development of the backpacker sector. Its
mission is to inspire, promote and deliver truly memorable experiences. Tourism NT is responsible
for campaign strategy development and implementation, destination awareness, research,
partnerships and trade marketing, tactical activities in market, trade and consumer shows, product
development, education and promoting industry standards, policy issues and the management of
the NT Accreditation Program.


The NT Backpacker Operators’ Association is the representative body for backpacker operators
within the NT. It is an industry driven body committed to representing the operators at the coalface
of the industry and assisting in the marketing of the NT as a unique backpacker destination.
The Objectives of the Association are:
    (a) Provide backpacker operators with an organisation that can represent the concerns and
        issues of the industry.
    (b) Promote the Northern Territory as a desirable destination for both overseas and interstate
        travellers.
    (c) Promote a co-operative and harmonious relationship between all backpacker operators.


Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                       12
    (d) Introduce a code of ethics between operators and the general public.
    (e) Facilitate the collection and expression of representative opinion regarding relations with the
        Government and the Backpacker Industry, and to provide for members of the Association an
        avenue of approach to Government Departments and Authorities on all relevant matters and
        issues
    (f) To establish and maintain satisfactory and harmonious relationships with other sections of
        the Tourist and Travel Industry for the purpose of fostering and developing the Backpacker
        Industry in particular and tourism in general.
    (g) To collect subscriptions and accept donations and sponsorships for the furtherance of the
        objectives of the Association.
    (h) To collect and circulate statistical, technical and other information of assistance to members
        and to advise on trade matters and questions affecting, or of interest to, members.
    (i) To consider, originate and support improvements in legislation which may seem directly or
        indirectly conducive to any of the objectives and purposes of the Association, and to resist
        and oppose legislation which may seem to the Association directly or indirectly adverse to
        the interests of the Association and its members.

At a round table meeting of key players in the NT’s backpacker industry held in September 2005, it
was suggested that a Backpacker Industry Panel be formed against which Tourism NT could
“bounce” marketing ideas. This Panel also provided industry insights which assisted in the
formulation of this Plan. It is anticipated that this Panel will remain active in the development of any
backpacker-specific marketing campaigns undertaken in 2006/07.

The Regional Tourism Associations are membership based organisations responsible for facilitating
strong growth of their respective regions. They have two primary roles: marketing their respective
destinations domestically and providing industry support services to their members. The Central
Australian Tourism Industry Association and Tourism Top End also provide valuable visitor
information services to this sector.

The Backpacker Tourism Advisory Panel (BTAP) is a formal policy committee reporting to the
National Board of the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC). BTAP's objective is to facilitate an
industry platform for the development and growth of the backpacker tourism segment by elevating
the policy agenda and providing a unified voice on backpacker issues at all levels of government.
BTAP has three specific dynamic working groups (DWGs) covering marketing, policy, and research.
Each BTAP representative is a member of at least one DWG and is responsible for driving their
respective agendas.

BTAP’s key goals and tasks include:

    •   Act as the critical link between the backpacker industry, the states and the ATEC national
        board in the interpretation of segment-specific issues;
    •   Represent the interests of the backpacker segment to the ATEC national board, industry
        organisations, government and the community;
    •   Facilitate an active and effective policy forum where key industry stakeholders present
        issues for development and action;
    •   Conduct regular meetings (minimum of four per year) and report back to the state
        backpacker bodies and industry;
    •   Make formal, bi-annual presentations to the ATEC national board to report on activities,
        issues and developments;
    •   Facilitate industry education with regard to volume, trends, market conditions and the needs
        of the backpacker tourism market;




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                       13
    •   Raise the profile of backpacker tourism and provide feedback to the ATEC national board,
        government, media, general public and other tourism organisations throughout the states in
        consultation with the ATEC national executive;
    •   Lead the way in the ongoing development of growth strategies in order to maximise the
        contribution of the backpacker market to Australia.

BTAP members are appointed from the ATEC membership base of operators active in the
backpacker segment. BTAP members must be able to address and advise on issues related to the
backpacker market and must be able to demonstrate experience and knowledge relating to this
market segment.

Marketing
The NT will develop its positioning around the current Brand NT and focus on the variety of
experiences on offer. Identifying the most effective and cost efficient means of communicating to
the consumer is paramount. Partnerships will continue to play an integral role in the development of
the sector, and will complement tactical campaigns both within Australia and overseas. Alternative
distribution channels will be explored and marketing collateral that is enticing to the ‘experiential
backpacker’ will be developed.

The Northern Territory’s iconic tourism experiences need to be promoted in a responsible manner to
ensure visitor expectations are met. This should result in positive word of mouth promotion which
will contribute to sustainability.

Access
The industry needs to be conscious to support all forms of access to, from and within the NT. Whilst
there is a tendency to favour the operation of low cost carriers, this should not be to the detriment of
the more traditional forms of access such as road and rail.


        Air Access
        The NT has been suffering from a non competitive aviation environment which has resulted
        in a number of geographical areas and market segments being restricted. One key area has
        been the ‘backpacker’ or unstructured youth market. Most backpackers have been
        influenced by competitive airline activities to arrive into Australia via the eastern seaboard
        (SYD/MEL) and then to consider their options which are generally based on accessibility,
        work options and word of mouth recommendations.

        Air access continues to remain a critical issue for the NT, and the concerns raised by
        industry are not unique to the backpacker sector. The NT Aviation Strategy 2004-2006
        provides a framework for the development of the aviation industry in the NT with the aim of
        maximising commercial aviation services to, from and within the NT. The existing Aviation
        Strategy is under review and an updated version is anticipated to be released in late 2006.

        The commencement of low cost carrier services into Darwin signals a potential opportunity to
        increase the budget travel/backpacker market. The challenge is, however, to promote point
        to point travel and utilisation of these services. Additional research is needed to examine the
        impact of low cost carriers on the NT.

        Road and Rail Access
        Road and other land transport operators (eg express coach companies, rail, and rental car
        companies) are feeling the affects of cheaper air fares and are being forced to redefine their
        businesses. Regional areas rely heavily on road/land transport operators, therefore, TNT
        and industry together needs to work cohesively to prevent this industry from further decline
        and identify product development opportunities. The growth of low cost aviation services
        encouraging point to point travel within Australia will continue to challenge traditional coach



Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                      14
        travel in this segment. If coach services become unviable, dispersal of backpackers
        throughout the NT will be impacted.

        Parks Access
        Limited or restricted access within the NT parks and reserves has frustrated the industry over
        recent years. In partnership with Parks Australia North and the Parks & Wildlife Commission
        of the NT, the industry is working to identify new and unique areas for access, promote
        alternative sites, and support the online accreditation program.

Product
Tourism NT has identified the processes and framework to guide future tourism development in the
NT. Activities include identifying infrastructure gaps and priorities, identifying product gaps and
priorities, development of infrastructure projects, increasing consumer interest and destination
specific marketing activities. A revised Destination Development Strategy will incorporate these
future opportunities.

The payment of over-riding and high commissions, product discounting and other such short term
measures are not sustainable and result in a decline in the quality of the experience on offer in the
NT and, ultimately, contributes to the drop in NT market-share. Self regulation (by the industry for
the industry) is essential.

The need to raise awareness amongst consumers and improve the viability of tourism operators and
support systems will ensure the future sustainability of the industry.

Accreditation / Industry Standards
Whilst many operators are committed to improving standards and professionalism, there is still a
relatively low level of understanding in regard to the importance of industry initiatives such as
accreditation, licensing, training, visitor satisfaction and truth in advertising. These issues impact on
the reputation of the destination, the industry and its credibility.

Low entry costs into this industry can deliver over supply of poor quality product and so it is
imperative that professionalism and risk management practices are developed and implemented to
maintain the NT’s reputation as a safe destination. Backpacker operators are encouraged to
consider using the NT Tourism Accreditation Program as a tool to monitor and improve their
business practices as the benefits to the industry, the consumer and their business are significant.

Policy Issues
There are a number of national policy issues which impact on the NT backpacker industry, including
visas and associated taxation regulations. Industry and Tourism NT continues to provide timely
communications and feedback on these matters to parties including Tourism Australia (TA), the
Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), the Backpacker Tourism Advisory Panel (BTAP),
Tourism Ministers Council (TMC), the Australian Standing Committee on Tourism (ASCOT) and
Department of Business, Economic and Regional Development’s (DBERD) Business and Skilled
Migration Division, to influence policy change which will benefit the NT tourism industry.

The Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program enhances the cultural and social development of
young people, promotes mutual understanding between Australia and other nations and is an
important part of the tourist industry. Working holiday makers have a positive effect on the
Australian economy, and the program assists Australian employers by ensuring they have access to
a large pool of seasonal workers. The reciprocal nature of the arrangements ensures young
Australians are also offered similar opportunities for cultural understanding through working holidays
overseas.

The program is now open to 19 countries, namely the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands,
Japan, Republic of Ireland, Republic of Korea, Malta, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China, Finland, the
Republic of Cyprus, France, Italy, Belgium, Estonia and Taiwan.


Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                        15
For the year ending June 2005, 104,000 WHM visas were issued – an 11% increase on 2004.


2004/05 TOP FIVE SOURCE COUNTRIES


                  Current           Country               No of visas      Previous
                  Ranking                                 granted          ranking

                  1                 United Kingdom        30,092           1
                  2                 Republic of Korea     17,706           5
                  3                 Ireland               12,585           2
                  4                 Germany               10,676           4
                  5                 Japan                   9,975          3


BTAP has successfully lobbied for reforms to Australia’s working holiday maker scheme, and the
three major changes, effective from 1 July 2006 include:

    •   Increasing the work limitation with each employer from 3 to 6 months
    •   Increasing the study/training limitation from 3 to 4 months; and
    •   Expanding the definition of ‘seasonal work’ (for second WHM visa eligibility) to include some
        primary industries, such as pearling, shearing, fishing, butchery and forestry.

The Northern Territory welcomes and embraces these new reforms to the WHM programme.
However, there is still a need to extend the criteria for second WHM visa eligibility to include a
broader range of industries which are experiencing critical skill shortages and recruitment difficulties
in the NT. These include, but are not limited to, general medical practitioners, nursing, teaching,
hospitality, child care, mining engineers and general trades’ workers.

Tourism NT will continue to push for these reforms to WHM, including the extension and/or
adaptation of the WHM scheme to US citizens.

BTAP is also lobbying the Australian Government to decrease the high tax level that WHM pay in
Australia compared to other countries. Most working holiday makers who visit Australia are
classified as non-residents for taxation purposes and therefore are required to pay a tax rate of 29%
on a taxable income less than $21,600. Additionally, non-residents are not entitled to the tax free
threshold. The industry is concerned about this high level as it adds to the competitiveness of the
destination for the working holiday maker.

There is evidence to suggest that longer lengths of stay in competing destinations may be tied to
work and travel. Length of stay in a destination is significantly correlated with those destinations
offering work or education opportunities. NT destinations do not feature as high providers of work or
education in the international visitor survey (IVS) data and, in the absence of other evidence, it may
be that there is potential to grow these aspects of the market. Therefore, in order for the NT to
become more attractive to the working holiday maker, it needs to explore work and travel
opportunities further.




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                      16
PRIORITY AREA: RESEARCH
OBJECTIVES

    •   Provide relevant research data that meets the needs of the industry and provides detailed
        analysis for informed decision making
    •   Continuously monitor the NT’s performance and emerging trends within the sector



ACTIONS                                                     RESPONSIBILITY          TIMEFRAME

Conduct focus group research to:                            Tourism NT              Dec 2005 –
                                                            Research                June 2006
    •   Analyse trip planning practices and travel; and
    •   Examine the potential to grow the ‘experiential
        backpacker’ market through work, education or
        volunteer opportunities

Review and analyse domestic market trends and issues        Tourism NT              March – June
                                                            Research                2006
Introduce Destination Survey and IPAT data collections      Tourism NT              June – Dec
                                                            Research                2006
Assess the impact of low cost carriers on travel patterns   Tourism NT              Dec 2006
and visitor behaviour                                       Research

Examine the potential of strategic alliances with WA and    Tourism NT              Dec 2006
SA to help counter the east coast dominance                 Research

Establish visitation benchmarks and targets for the         Tourism NT              Dec 2006
‘experiential backpacker’                                   Research

Communicate relevant research outcomes in a timely          Tourism NT              On-going
manner                                                      Research




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                      17
PRIORITY AREA: INDUSTRY STRUCTURE
OBJECTIVES

    •   Create a cohesive approach to the development and marketing of the sector
    •   Strengthen and improve partnerships that support the backpacker industry
    •   Further develop the NTBOA



ACTION                                                      RESPONSIBILITY        TIMEFRAME

Actively seek and identify possible funding opportunities   NTBOA (with           2006
to assist developing the sector & the NTBOA                 assistance from       Membership
                                                            Tourism NT            Year
                                                            Destination
                                                            Development)

Conduct membership drive and implement membership           NTBOA                 2006
benefit program                                                                   Membership
                                                                                  Year

Raise profile of the NTBOA                                  NTBOA                 Ongoing

Leverage relationships with industry associations and       Tourism NT            Ongoing
peak tourism bodies eg ATEC, BTAP, TA, TMC, ASCOT           Strategic
regarding issues impacting on the NT backpacker market      Development,
                                                            International Team,
                                                            Research, NTBOA

Encourage industry to subscribe to the Backpacker           Tourism NT,           Ongoing
Industry Trade E-newsletter (BITE)                          NTBOA, RTA




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                 18
PRIORITY AREA: MARKETING
OBJECTIVES

    •   Promote the NT as the destination to experience authentic nature and culture
    •   Implement targeted campaigns aimed at increasing the number of experiential backpackers,
        length of stay and expenditure
    •   Leverage strategic partnerships to increase market share



ACTION                                                         RESPONSIBILITY           TIMEFRAME

Rationalise marketing resources on Australia’s east coast      Tourism NT –             June 2006
and redirect efforts to working in-market, primarily UK,       International Team and
Europe and Canada                                              Marketing
                                                               Communications

Identify in-market:                                            Tourism NT –             June – Dec
    •    partners to package point-to-point travel including   International Team       2006
         partnering with other destinations to enhance the
         appeal of point-to-point travel (eg; Singapore)
    •    specialist distributors who could offer pre-
         registration for jobs, education or volunteer
         opportunities in the NT

Undertake PR activities to promote:                            Tourism NT –             On-going
    •    awareness of the NT as a low cost option to enter     International Team
         Australia via point-to-point travel; and
    •    the NT as an easy place to find short term
         employment or to take up educational or
         volunteer opportunities

Leverage existing trade alliances, develop and extend          Tourism NT –             On-going
new co-operative opportunities with non-traditional            International Team and
partners to better reach target audiences and facilitate       Marketing
easy purchase of Territory tourism products                    Communications

Review online activity/presence in accordance with             Tourism NT - Marketing   On-going
research                                                       Communications

Identify key backpacker media and backpacker specialists       Tourism NT -             On-going
to target for famils and maximise opportunities of media       International Team &
famils through VJP                                             Marketing
                                                               Communications

Establish link on Tourism NT international websites that       Tourism NT –             June 2006
connects to language websites of Dept of Immigration &         International Team
Multicultural Affairs and Tourism Australia so that visa
information (eg; WHM, study) can be sourced by potential
travellers

Support Tourism Australia’s marketing efforts with the         Tourism NT – Marketing   On-going
provision of inspirational and motivational images,            Communications /
features, and editorial on work and travel opportunities       International Team




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                       19
Plan and prepare for industry participation in WYSTC        Tourism NT -             Jan – Oct 06
2006 Melbourne including pre/post touring program           International Team/
                                                            Trade & Consumer
                                                            Services

Attend relevant backpacker industry conferences,            NTBOA, Tourism NT –      On-going
workshops and forums                                        International Team /
                                                            Marketing
                                                            Communications /
                                                            Destination
                                                            Development

Ensure NT backpacker products receive maximum               Tourism NT -             On-going
exposure in adventure travel/youth retail market programs   International Team, ,
                                                            Domestic Trade &
                                                            Consumer Services

Maximise individual marketing budgets through joint         Industry                 On-going
promotions and/or taking up appropriate cooperative
marketing opportunities

Undertake audit and communicate current activities and      Tourism NT –             As required
distribution networks utilised by the backpacker industry   Destination
                                                            Development

Provide accurate product information to backpackers in      RTAs                     Ongoing
the NT via Visitor Information Centres and appropriate
collateral

Update visual library with appropriate imagery for the      Tourism NT – Marketing   On-going
experiential backpacker market                              Communications

Communicate cooperative marketing opportunities to          Tourism NT               As required
industry in a timely manner

Utilise innovative and inspirational Brand NT components    Tourism NT – Marketing   Ongoing
in all marketing applications                               Communications /
                                                            International Team




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                      20
PRIORITY AREA: ACCESS
OBJECTIVE

    •   Develop strong strategic alliances to enhance access to and within the NT



ACTION                                                     RESPONSIBILITY           TIMEFRAME

Support the activities of the NT Aviation Committee to     Tourism NT -             On-going
grow aviation capacity to the NT through the provision     Strategic
of market intelligence and relevant research data          Development,
                                                           NTBOA

Inform industry of cooperative marketing opportunities     Tourism NT               On-going
with low cost airline carriers                             International Team /
                                                           Marketing
                                                           Communication

Investigate opportunities for air and land packages with   Tourism NT –             March 2006
low cost carriers to service the needs of national and     International Business
international visitors to, from and within the NT          Development SYD

Work with Great Southern Railway to explore                Tourism NT –             From 2006
possibilities for additional allocation of ‘backpacker’    Destination
seats                                                      Development

Continue to work with Parks & Wildlife and Parks           Tourism NT –             On-going
Australia North to identify new and unique areas of        Destination
access                                                     Development

Increase promotion of alternative sites within parks,      Industry (supported      On-going
particularly for the wet season                            by Tourism NT –
                                                           Destination
                                                           Development)

Encourage regional dispersal through strategic product     Industry (with support   On-going
development                                                from Tourism NT –
                                                           Destination
                                                           Development)

Lobby PAN and Parks & Wildlife to provide renewable        Tourism NT –             On-going
5 and 10 year permits, licences, and leases to             Destination
accredited operators                                       Development
                                                           NTBOA




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                   21
PRIORITY AREA: PRODUCT
OBJECTIVE

    •   Develop relevant quality products and experiences that create positive word of mouth and
        entice other backpackers to visit the NT



ACTION                                                        RESPONSIBILITY       TIMEFRAME

Examine product audit/gap analysis to identify availability   Tourism NT –         June 2006
and range of experiential backpacker product in the NT        Strategic
                                                              Development,
                                                              Research &
                                                              Destination
                                                              Development

Diversify backpacker tourism product to adapt to              Industry (with       On-going
changing trends and match the demands of the                  support from RTA’s
‘experiential backpacker’                                     & Tourism NT –
                                                              Destination
                                                              Development)

Develop and/or enhance nature-based and cultural              Industry (with       On-going
products to reflect participatory, interpretative and         support from RTA’s
educational experiences sought by the ‘experiential           & Tourism NT –
backpacker’                                                   Destination
                                                              Development)

Facilitate free industry workshops and guest speakers to      Tourism NT –         As required
up-skill operators in key areas including marketing           Destination
                                                              Development

Actively encourage product development and e-marketing        NTBOA                On-going
initiatives to suit the ‘experiential backpacker’ market
                                                              Tourism NT
                                                              RTAs

Monitor relevant websites’ feedback and developing            Tourism NT           On-going
trends on product and/or new and emerging destinations
                                                              NTBOA
                                                              Industry




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                     22
PRIORITY AREA: ACCREDITATION & INDUSTRY STANDARDS
OBJECTIVES

    •   Ensure professional and sustainable business management practices are developed and
        implemented
    •   Protect and improve the reputation and safety of the industry and the destination by raising
        standards, ethics and professionalism



ACTION                                                       RESPONSIBILITY         TIMEFRAME

Promote the value of NT Accreditation Program to             NTBOA, Tourism         On-going
industry and consumers                                       NT, RTA, industry

Progress the recently established whole-of-government        Tourism NT –           On-going
approach to regulating issues including the prevention of    Destination
illegal operations                                           Development

Identify regulatory/legislative issues facing the            Tourism NT –           On-going
backpacker industry sector and communicate relevant          Destination
information to backpacker industry via RTAs                  Development

Develop training packages and workshops to address the       Tourism NT –           As required
need for improved business practices                         Destination
                                                             Development / NT
                                                             Tourism
                                                             Accreditation
                                                             Program

Explore opportunities for an industry Code of Conduct        NTBOA                  April 06

Clarify and communicate complaint handling procedures        Tourism NT             April 06
for accredited and non-accredited operators                  Accreditation
                                                             Program

Support and promote online training programs for tour        NTBOA & Tourism        Ongoing
operators and tour guides                                    NT – Destination
                                                             Development

Support and promote the Parks online training programs       NTBOA & Tourism        Ongoing
                                                             NT – Destination
                                                             Development




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                    23
PRIORITY AREA: POLICY
OBJECTIVES

    •   Actively contribute in national debates on issues impacting on the NT backpacker industry
    •   Leverage contacts with industry associations, peak tourism bodies and other partnerships to
        influence appropriate policy change



ACTION                                                         RESPONSIBILITY        TIMEFRAME

Establish links across government, the tourism industry        Tourism NT –          March – June
and NT business sectors to create work & travel,               Strategic             2006
educational and volunteer opportunities                        Development,
                                                               International Team,
                                                               NTBOA and
                                                               Industry.

Lobby direct or via relationships with industry associations   NTBOA, Tourism        As required
and peak tourism bodies for improved changes in national       NT - Destination
policy (eg; visa, taxation) to promote growth and              Development /
sustainability of the backpacker sector                        Strategic
                                                               Development

Work with DBERD’s Business and Skilled Migration               Tourism NT –          June 2006
Division, the Minister for Tourism and the NTBOA to            Strategic
coordinate an integrated approach to influence a               Development
strengthening of the WHM scheme

Provide backpacker operators with an organisation that         NTBOA                 Ongoing
can represent the concerns and issues of the industry

Facilitate the collection and expression of representative     NTBOA                 Ongoing
opinion regarding relations with the Government and the
Backpacker Industry, and to provide for members of the
Association an avenue of approach to Government
Departments and Authorities on all relevant matters and
issues

To consider, originate and support improvements in             NTBOA                 Ongoing
legislation which may seem directly or indirectly
conducive to any of the objectives and purposes of the
Association, and to resist and oppose legislation which
may seem to the Association directly or indirectly adverse
to the interests of the Association and its members




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                      24
ATTACHMENT A: BACKPACKER TRENDS FOR THE
NORTHERN TERRITORY
                           1999          2000         2001         2002         2003         2004         2005
 Visitors (Backpackers)
 NSW                   324,000        374,800      365,500      380,600      367,600      377,200      383,400
 VIC                   170,900        191,800      197,400      215,500      208,700      211,100      213,200
 QLD                   273,200        289,200      283,500      298,600      264,100      299,200      323,100
 SA                       95,000      117,200      111,800       99,900       91,700       93,500       85,000
 WA                       88,000      109,100       92,100       88,300       93,800       99,900       92,900
 TAS                      22,800       31,200       31,100       24,800       31,500       24,100       31,400
 NT                    138,500        153,000      138,000      132,900      115,100      117,400      108,900
 ACT                      41,300       43,800       43,500       47,100       50,200       39,500       32,100
 Australia             407,200        452,900      451,100      479,100      468,000      482,000      498,900
 NT Market
 Share of Aust              34%           34%          31%          28%          25%          24%          22%

 Visitor (Backpacker) Nights
 NSW                  9,517,200     12,679,700   11,871,900   12,601,000    9,672,500   10,706,200   10,137,400
 VIC                  3,131,200      4,342,100    4,266,900    4,488,000    6,645,600    5,609,500    5,074,600
 QLD                  7,066,600      7,677,300    8,908,300    7,496,100    7,274,600    8,728,300    9,369,300
 SA                   1,329,200      1,811,800    1,950,500    1,436,000    1,052,100    1,586,200    1,172,700
 WA                   2,672,900      4,209,600    2,967,800    3,330,100    3,460,400    3,645,600    4,097,000
 TAS                   392,100        510,900      642,700      412,000      336,100      463,800      434,000
 NT                   1,438,600      2,098,100    1,575,900    1,452,500    1,198,000    1,272,400    1,046,800
 ACT                   252,400        169,800      178,100      363,300      207,100      528,700      309,100
 Australia           26,312,600     34,083,300   32,803,000   32,005,500   30,133,500   32,803,200   31,935,300

 Average Length of Stay (nights)
 NSW                      29.4          33.8         32.5         33.1         26.3         28.4         26.4
 VIC                      18.3          22.6         21.6         20.8         31.8         26.6         23.8
 QLD                      25.9          26.5         31.4         25.1         27.5         29.2         29.0
 SA                       14.0          15.5         17.4         14.4         11.5         17.0         13.8
 WA                       30.4          38.6         32.2         37.7         36.9         36.5         44.1
 TAS                      17.2          16.4         20.7         16.6         10.7         19.2         13.8
 NT                       10.4          13.7         11.4         10.9         10.4         10.8          9.6
 ACT                       6.1           3.9          4.1          7.7          4.1         13.4          9.6
 Australia                64.6          75.3         72.7         66.8         64.4         68.1         64.0

 Origin
 Backpackers to NT
 United Kingdom           38,400       43,500       40,500       35,700       29,700       39,200       27,300
 Japan                    14,000         8,700        8,500      11,100         6,100        9,000        8,700
 Other Europe             45,400       52,800       44,000       46,200       39,000       30,400       35,900
 Germany                  14,900       13,600       14,400       16,300       19,000       19,500       14,300
 USA                      10,100       15,400         9,900        9,000        9,300          np         7,100
 New Zealand                   np          np           np           np           np           np             np
 Total NT              138,500        153,000      138,000      132,900      115,100      117,400      108,900




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                           25
 Origin
 Backpackers to Australia
 United Kingdom         100,100      120,700       109,800      129,100      120,500      129,300      127,900
 Japan                   39,700        32,500       34,600       34,600       31,600       32,000       31,300
 Other Europe            99,200      130,900       120,100      112,500      125,800      121,800      124,000
 Germany                 32,600        33,600       35,400       38,400       51,600       48,500       43,000
 USA                     42,700        41,700       41,200       50,800       43,700       39,700       45,800
 New Zealand             24,400        20,200       22,300       24,500       25,300       32,400       29,200
 Total Australia        407,200      452,900       451,100      479,100      468,000      482,000      498,900


 NT Market Share of International Backpackers to Australia
 United Kingdom             38%          36%           37%          28%          25%          30%          21%
 Japan                      35%          27%           25%          32%          19%          28%          28%
 Other Europe               46%          40%           37%          41%          31%          25%          29%
 Germany                    46%          40%           41%          42%          37%          40%          33%
 USA                        24%          37%           24%          18%          21%          13%          15%
 New Zealand                 2%          12%            7%           8%           5%           3%             4%
 Grand Total                34%          34%           31%          28%          25%          24%          22%


 NT Backpacker Nights
 United Kingdom         421,900      971,700       506,900      494,300      329,900      570,300      270,700
 Japan                  105,500        65,300       81,600       79,000       53,000       58,800       90,400
 Other Europe           519,100      567,900       492,700      467,700      439,400      273,700      323,200
 Germany                128,500      141,100       140,100      182,200      190,100      192,900      141,800
 USA                     95,400      108,400       108,000       64,500       70,200       52,400       52,900
 New Zealand              1,900        27,000         5,700      13,300       42,000         7,200      11,300
 Grand Total         1,438,600      2,098,100     1,575,900    1,452,500    1,198,000    1,272,400    1,046,800


 Australia Backpacker Nights
 United Kingdom      7,284,700     12,137,200     9,375,600    9,537,300    8,934,700    9,580,600    8,577,700
 Japan               3,193,900      2,277,000     2,254,700    2,133,200    1,892,400    3,164,000    2,706,500
 Other Europe        6,940,000      9,497,700     8,369,200    7,187,400    8,126,500    8,033,700    7,782,900
 Germany             1,492,800      1,559,700     2,245,500    2,353,800    3,337,100    3,256,700    2,476,900
 USA                 2,108,100      2,554,900     2,649,900    3,461,100    2,290,800    2,525,200    2,239,300
 New Zealand            795,600      702,800       817,800      729,900      745,200      483,200     1,226,600
 Grand Total        26,312,600     34,083,300    32,803,000   32,005,500   30,133,500   32,803,200   31,935,300


 NT Backpacker Length of Stay (nights)
 United Kingdom             11.0         22.3          12.5         13.8         11.1         14.5            9.9
 Japan                       7.5          7.5           9.6          7.1          8.7          6.5         10.4
 Other Europe               11.4         10.8          11.2         10.1         11.3          9.0            9.0
 Germany                     8.6         10.4           9.7         11.2         10.0          9.9            9.9
 USA                         9.4          7.0          10.9          7.2          7.5          np             7.5
 New Zealand                 np            np           np           np           np           np             np
 Grand Total                10.4         13.7          11.4         10.9         10.4         10.8            9.6




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                                           26
 Australian Backpacker Length of Stay (nights)
 United Kingdom             72.8            100.6    85.4           73.9   74.1   74.1    67.1
 Japan                      80.5             70.1    65.2           61.7   59.9   98.9    86.5
 Other Europe               70.0             72.6    69.7           63.9   64.6   66.0    62.8
 Germany                    45.8             46.4    63.4           61.3   64.7   67.1    57.6
 USA                        49.4             61.3    64.3           68.1   52.4   63.6    48.9
 New Zealand                32.6             34.8    36.7           29.8   29.5   14.9    42.0
 Grand Total                64.6             75.3    72.7           66.8   64.4   68.1    64.0

np = not possible due to low sample size.
Source: Tourism Research Australia - International Visitor Survey




Northern Territory Backpacker Development Plan                                           27

				
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