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AUSTRALIA is set to become the first country to see the first real online tourist event in more than 30 years, with the opening of the nation’s first virtual touristic destination.
Key points:The virtual tour will be held at the National Parks and Wildlife Centre in Canberra, where it will be hosted by Tourism Minister Michael McCormack and National Parks Tourism Advisory Group chairman Mark O’NeillThis is the first virtual tourism event to be held in Australia since the 1980sTourism Minister Michael McCulloch said there would be about 200,000 visitors attending the virtual event in a dayThis will be the first time the country has had an online tourism event.
Tourism is expected to bring $2 billion (US$2.8 billion) into the Australian economy and generate $150 million in tourism revenue each year, according to the government.
The Government has already secured funding from the World Economic Forum and World Tourism Organization to host the event.
“The National Parks have long been recognised as a tourism hub, and our aim is to build on this legacy by bringing a unique tourism experience to the National Park,” Mr McCormack said.
“With a national park as the venue, the National Tourist Office is the ideal partner for the Tourism Minister to be able to share his vision for tourism and inspire visitors around the world.”
Mr McCormack was speaking ahead of the opening day of the virtual tour.
“We have a unique opportunity to create a digital tourism event that will generate hundreds of thousands of visitors to the park each day,” he said.
Tourist Minister Michael Mullack, left, speaks with National Parks CEO Mark O and the chairman of the National Tourism Advisory group, Mark O, during a press conference at the Northern Territory Government building in Darwin.
Mr O is chairman of Tourism Australia and is also the chairman and chief executive officer of the Northern Tourism Council.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” he told ABC Radio Darwin.
“It’s a unique location for a virtual tourism experience and we’re going to have a large group that have been travelling in Australia for many years now, and they will be able come and experience the park for themselves, for the first and only time.”
Mr O said the virtual experience would also have a direct impact on the economy.
“For a long time the tourism industry has been a business model driven by the numbers,” he explained.
“Tourism tourism is about people coming in, making a dollar for their dollar, making money for their local economy.”
Mr Mullack said the National Adventure Park would be a unique experience.
“If you look at the way people come to Australia they go on the beach and they come on the train and they go to the casino, they go shopping and they spend their money in the local economy,” he added.
“They come to see Australia, and then they go back to their country.”
There are a number of opportunities in the National Adventures and I think it’s an opportunity for tourism.
“Mr McCulloch has said the NT Government would have to raise about $500 million to secure the event, but said that was on the back of a “huge amount of goodwill” from local tourism stakeholders.”
That goodwill is a big part of the reason we have come here, to build the infrastructure to make it a real destination,” he noted.”
And then the National Education and Training Centre will be a great place to give it a great start, to give tourists a start.
“The National Park Tourism Advisory Committee was established by the Northern Territories Government to advise Tourism Australia on the planning and development of the NT’s national parks.
The committee’s chairman, Mark Hurd, said he expected the NT Tourism Advisory Team to take about a month to design the virtual attraction.”
As I look at it, it’s probably one of the most exciting ideas I’ve ever had,” Mr Hurd said.
Mr Hurd is a member of Tourism Tasmania and the NT Council of Tourism.”
Touring is a really important industry and I’m very confident that tourism is going to be part of it,” he stressed.”
A lot of tourism investment is focused on tourism, so this is the opportunity for the NT to really make a mark on the tourism business.
“Mr Huth said the event was expected to be a “very significant” development for the Northern Region.”
In the NT there are very few places like this, very few destinations, so I’m sure that this will be very significant for tourism in the NT,” he stated.”
This is not something that is just for the people of the northern part of Australia, it is for people of all regions.