One of the Northern Territory's major 'drive tourism' markets, Katherine, has been snubbed in new tourism development plans.
Tourism NT, a NT Government authority, has hired consultants KPMG to develop a new 'NT Drive' strategy.
The consultants are calling for ideas from the public and are holding meetings to discuss those plans, just not in Katherine.
There will be a meeting in Darwin to discuss the strategy on October 20 and another in Alice Springs on October 27.
If Katherine residents want to contribute you can send you thoughts to an email address - Abbie Northwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drive tourism is a big part of Katherine's dry season, or it was until the grey nomads were stopped by border closures during the coronavirus pandemic.
Katherine residents have had many ideas on how to improve things in this area over the years.
A reduction on telephone black spots along the Stuart Highway is one of them.
Of even better phone coverage at key attractions, particularly Edith Falls.
There has also been discussion about more road maintenance on the Stuart Highway - more passing lanes, more roadside stopping areas.
Even a bus service from Katherine to the Nitmiluk Gorge gets a run from time to time.
Highway signs needed to be urgently updated, even those in town, a previous "tourism strategy" meeting was told in Katherine in 2018.
More swimming areas for tourists and not just the hot springs is often raised.
Some have called for the creation of croc-safety zones at the low level reserve using nets and guards.
Tourism NY says its 'NT Drive Strategy" will be key to further advancing Tourism NT's approach to tourism development.
"Vehicle based touring, whether guided tours or self-drive, are vitally important to the Territory and we want to ensure the market's needs are being met, or exceeded, into the future.
Your insights are being sought to determine:
How does the Territory's infrastructure support drive touring, and how could it improve?
What is holding the Territory back from further growth in the drive touring market?
How do Territory roads, roadside infrastructure and signage stack up?
How do the Territory's roads support linkage of our tourism products?
What are the key itineraries for the self-drive market?
What value do you place on an NT presence at various drive related consumer shows?
As we previously stated, there is no meeting for Katherine and people are asked to email their ideas to Abbie Northwood at email@example.com "to find out how you can provide input".
Tourism NT denies the town was "snubbed".
It said a meeting was held in Katherine last month to discuss "destination management plans" of which the drive strategy was part.
A spokeswoman said the consultants planned to meet other Katherine tourist establishments one-on-one to discuss the strategy.
The spokeswoman said if there was a large enough demand, a separate meeting for Katherine would likely be considered.
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