The NTCB and its 19 industry partners headed to AIME 2013 with exciting times ahead for the Northern Territory (NT). Increased air services, National Tourism Award wins, strong Corporate Social Responsibility relationships underway and the pending arrival of a new hotel brand in the NT all bode well for 2013.
Jetstar has announced that in June, it will commence direct flights from Sydney to Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the Red Centre, with four weekly Airbus A320 services providing a total of 1400 seats every week. With Qantas and QantasLink also offering same-day connections to Uluru (Ayers Rock) from Sydney and Melbourne via Alice Springs and Virgin Australia‘s daily direct service from Sydney to Uluru (Ayers Rock), this means that three airlines will now be servicing the destination.
Meanwhile, Tiger Airways will commence flights to Alice Springs in April, with four return services operating each week from Melbourne, as well as a new four times weekly service between Sydney and Alice Springs. These services will provide over 5,000 additional seats through Alice Springs Airport each week.
These new flights will make Central Australia destinations even more attractive for the conference and meetings market, with not only increased capacity but competitive pricing. In preparation, Alice Springs Airport will undergo an upgrade to its retail and airport experience including a revamp of the entire food and beverage offering.
Northern Territory tourism operators have won an impressive total of nine awards at the 2012 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards announced on 15 February. The NT operators, who hail from Central Australia, Kakadu and the Top End, took home five gold awards, one silver and three bronze. Winners included Business Tourism relevant products such as Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, RT Tours Australia and Yellow Water Cruises, all of whom won Gold in their respective categories. The Darwin Convention Centre won Silver, while Mantra on the Esplanade and the Royal Flying Doctor Service Tourist Facility in Alice Springs received Bronze Awards.
The Northern Territory Convention Bureau (NTCB) and their industry partners on the NT Stand # 1532 are highlighting just how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be put into practice. The NTCB has enabled Bindi, an Alice Springs-based cross-cultural organisation which provides employment opportunities for adults with disabilities, to promote its services at AIME. Bindi operates a workshop and creative arts studio which produces high quality corporate merchandise including handmade name badges, delegate satchels and bags, calendars, caps and shirts as well as table centerpieces and artworks for NT conferences and events. A range of Bindi creations will be scattered throughout the NT stand and all NT exhibitors will be wearing distinctive Bindi-produced nametags.
The Northern Territory stand, located just adjacent to the Domestic Markets area Globe Restaurant, will also include a brand new concept called ‘The Experience Zone’. This area will feature four first-time AIME exhibitors who will showcase a range of exciting “boutique” activity options available in Central Australia and the Top End. These operators convey some of the more fascinating features of the Northern Territory – di CROCO is a retailer of high-end crocodile skin goods including bags and jewellery, Darwin Reef ‘N’ Wrecks is a luxury fishing operator, the Royal Flying Doctor Service has a fantastic new Alice Springs venue and Uluru Camel Tours provides an extraordinary way to see Australia’s most recognisable icon.
The rest of the NT exhibitors cover the broad spectrum of suppliers and include convention centres, off-site venues, special event management, professional conference organisers, attractions, transportation and cruising, exhibition and hire services, hotels and resorts, restaurants and touring and travel operators.
The prestigious Hilton brand will be coming to the NT on May 1st when it takes over four properties previously managed by the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). This change-over will see theCrowne Plaza Darwin become the Hilton Darwin whilst the Holiday Inn Darwin, the Holiday Inn Esplanade Darwin and the Crowne Plaza Alice Springs will all be branded DoubleTree by Hilton hotels.
Scott Lovett, Director of Business Events for the Northern Territory Convention Bureau (NTCB), said “There’s a lot happening in the Territory and it means we have a lot of exciting news for buyers attending AIME. We believe that our initiative to include a Corporate Social Responsibility partner as a critical component of our ongoing presence at AIME, the new ‘Experience Zone’ concept and these exciting new aviation and hotel developments mean that the NT Stand is a ‘must-visit’ at AIME 2013. ”
For further information on the NT, visit www.ntconventions.com.au