The NT Government wants the Department of Defence to fund extra tourist promotions for Katherine to combat the negative publicity surrounding PFAS contamination.
The tourism industry is collectively holding its breath for this dry season’s tourist arrivals although most expect the grey nomads will still support Katherine despite fears over its drinking water.
Tourism Minister Lauren Moss today said the Government would be paying close attention to Katherine tourism this year.
The impact of PFAS on Katherine’s tourism was discussed at today’s announcement of a further $5.5 million to expand walking opportunities in Nitmiluk National Park as part of the Government’s record $103 million Turbocharging Tourism stimulus package.
Ms Moss said this is on top of the existing $10 million that the government is investing in Nitmiluk over the next three years to upgrade, refresh and develop tourism infrastructure in the park.
“We continue working with Jawoyn traditional owners and this injection is in addition to our existing investment into tourism marketing and enhancing our visitor offerings,” Ms Moss said.
“Nitmiluk National Park is known for its incredible country and walking trails, with people travelling from all over the world to experience the challenge of the 62km Jatbula Trail.
“The Government and the Jawoyn Traditional Owners will work closely to expand the walking experience in the park, develop new multi-day walking experiences combining Aboriginal culture and nature, as well as linked visitor facilities such as mountain bike trail networks in new areas of this spectacular park.
“Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the unique sandstone and riverine landscape of the park and experience Jawoyn culture.”
Lisa Mumbin, Chairperson of the Jawoyn Association, said the funding would provide new opportunities for visitors to the region to learn more about Jawoyn culture and stories.
“We’re very excited about it and we are looking forward to further development of the Park,” she said.
“It has been a long time since the Park has received dollars for infrastructure and this will help us pick up the vision of our elders.
“It will bring more tourists and visitors to the Park and provide jobs and training for our people.”
Katherine will also benefit from the new $26.57 million funding for smarter and more targeted tourism marketing, roll out of marketing campaigns with key airlines, targeting niche markets and luring lucrative business events to the NT.
“We are taking action right now to drive tourism, attract more visitors, create local jobs and put more money into the pockets of Territorians,” Ms Moss said.
“Under our plan, we will also work more closely with our tourism industry, supporting it to grow and capitalise on this increased and unprecedented investment.”