Published on : Monday, August 18, 2014
The Northern Territory will be promoted as a must-visit destination and a birdwatchers paradise at a major exhibition in the United Kingdom this weekend.
Known as the birdwatchers’ Glastonbury, Birdfair attracted more than 25,000 people last year along with more than 300 exhibitors from around the world.
“The Northern Territory is a magnet for birding and nature enthusiasts and our involvement in the famous UK Birdfair will help attract more visitors to the NT,” said Minister for Tourism Matt Conlan.
“With our spectacular landscapes and diverse variety of bird habitats, the Territory is home to some 400 species of birds, 150 species of mammals, 300 species of reptiles and much more.
“Several bird species are unique to the NT, including the white-throated Grasswren, white-lined Honeyeater, Hooded Parrot, Chestnut-Quilled Rock Pigeon, Banded Fruit-Dove, Partridge Pigeon (Red-faced) and Helmeted Friarbird. A further 14 rare species, including the Gouldian Finch can also be spotted throughout the Territory.
“Many of these species can be found with greater ease in the NT than anywhere else in the world. For example, the Top End offers vast tropical wetlands, tidal mangrove estuaries, limestone escarpments, monsoonal rainforest, and vast savannah woodlands. In the south, The Red Centre features the most accessible desert birding experiences to be found anywhere and debunks the myth of the `the lifeless desert’.”
Desert ecologist Chris Watson, DesertLife zoologist Mark Carter and tour operator Mick Jerram will represent Tourism NT at the event as guest speakers. These lecture spots are highly sought after and the trio will act as ambassadors for the Territory.
“As sponsors of the event, the Territory will be identified on all the literature and posters. We also feature appears on the Birdfair website which receives around 3-million hits in 2013. We are also advertising in a range of niche magazines including Birds magazine, which has more than 2-million readers,” said Mr Conlan.
“Birdwatching is a niche market, but with time this can be an important source of visitors for the Northern Territory. It will also provide all-important regional dispersal, taking tourists all over the Territory and will encourage them to stay longer.
“The United Kingdom is one of our largest international markets with 35,000 visitors to the Territory last year. This exhibition will help build on our profile in this key market and help achieve our vision to develop Northern Australia and achieve a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020.”