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Kakadu National Park has busiest year in a decade
New data shows visitation to Kakadu National Park has reached its highest point in a decade, despite falls in overall numbers across the Northern Territory's tourism sector.
Meryl Triggs from the Kakadu Tourism Consultative Committee said visitation numbers had risen by 6.7% or 12,641 visitors to 200,577 in 2018 while a Parks Australia newsletter has advised that those figures made 2018 the highest annual visitation to the park since 2009.
Triggs told ABC Darwin that the figures “are estimates ... taken from traffic counters at the entrances to the park.”
The figures come just weeks after the Park found itself in the political spotlight, with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Bill Shorten each announcing pre-election funding packages to revitalise Kakadu.
Worth more than $200 million each, the proposals included money to upgrade roads as well as park and camping infrastructure and secure the future of the Jabiru township beyond the expiry of its mining lease in 2021.
Recent statistics from Tourism Research Australia showed domestic and international tourism to the Territory had fallen while most other states and territories improved.
Data published by Tourism NT, meanwhile, also showed that year-on-year international and domestic visitation to the Top End had fallen by 1.3% and 0.6% respectively in the year ending September 2018.
However, it showed that domestic visitation to the Kakadu-Arnhem region had improved.
Triggs said the Park's own data painted a positive picture, with surveys suggesting domestic tourism was likely to thank, advising “we think it's broken the domestic market, so we're seeing more travel from interstate, particularly NSW, Victoria and Queensland.
"So I think a lot of people are taking the road, they're driving up through the centre, and we're seeing more people coming in through the southern entrance into Kakadu as well, particularly in our peak season."
The Northern Territory Government last year announced a $103 million package to stimulate tourism.
Image: Kakadu National Park courtesy of Tourism NT.
13th January 2019 - Major parties make funding commitments to revive Kakadu’s tourism industry
10th January 2019 - Northern Territory 2018 events stimulate economy and boost tourism
21st August 2018 - Masterplan aims to reposition Jabiru as tourism and regional services hub
24th February 2018 - Tourism’s high achievers recognised at 2017 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards
16th February 2018 - Northern Territory Government looks to ‘turbocharge’ tourism
31st October 2017 - Parks Australia looks to appoint Kakadu Park Manager
8th November 2016 - Controversial Northern Territory tourism slogan generates massive interest
10th October 2015 - Federal Environment Minister orders inquiry into Kakadu bushfire
18th November 2014 - Conservationists call for action in Kakadu
15th November 2014 - World Parks Congress learns of decline in Kakadu National Park wildlife numbers
16th September 2014 - Domestic tourism dips in Queensland, Northern Territory, Tasmania and the ACT
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