Members Portal

Tourism survey shows crime crisis worse than COVID

July 5, 2024

Media Release from Shadow Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Marie-Clare Boothby MLA:

The Territory’s tourism industry is feeling more pain from the Territory’s crime crisis than from COVID-19, according to the latest survey from Tourism NT.

The survey of industry sentiment for the March quarter of this year asked tourism operators to rate the outlook for their business over the next 12 months.

The survey of 51 NT operators rated their outlook 72 out of 200, a score lower than before and after COVID-19, which saw interstate and overseas tourism effectively cancelled.

The figure is also the lowest in the history of the report, which has been measuring industry sentiment each quarter for the past 12 years.

In the Top End, businesses rated their outlook 77 out of 200, the second lowest sentiment ever while operators in the Centre reported an outlook of just 50 out of 200, which is by far the lowest sentiment in the report’s history.

The results were even more despairing in the Centre with 90% of operators in Alice Springs reporting a poor outlook for the 12 months ahead while 60% of operators in the Uluru region reported feeling very poor or poor about the next 12 months.

The report stated: “The most commonly cited concerns by tourism operators include anti-social behaviour and crime, along with negative media coverage impacting on bookings to the NT.”

“This survey shows we’ve hit rock bottom,” said Shadow Minister for Tourism, Marie-Clare Boothby.

“Our tourism operators are feeling worse about their future than ever before. Industry sentiment is lower than after COVID-19, with tourism operators citing crime as the major factor for their concerns.”

Bill Wilcox from G’day Mate Tourist Park in Alice Springs said the negative media publicity around the Todd Tavern riot in March caused significant damage to his business.

“Our bookings stopped overnight. Our situation is dire and we don’t know if we’ll survive the off-season. The Government hasn’t done enough to improve the perception of Alice Springs,” he said.

Ms Boothby said the cancellation of events like the Henley on Todd was sending the wrong message to tourists.

“The Labor Government has wrecked the Territory’s reputation as a safe place for tourists to visit by failing to manage crime over the past 8 years and now they are failing to support events that could generate some positive publicity. It’s no wonder our Central Australian tourism operators are worried about their future,” she said.

Read the full report here.

Read more