Published on : Saturday, February 7, 2015
Internet access will be available at one of the Territory’s most remote tourist locations with free WiFi switched on at Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles), 105 km south of Tennant Creek.
Chief Minister Adam Giles said it was the third and last location in the rollout of a free WiFi trial across Territory parks and reserves by the Country Liberals Government.
Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park was hooked up last October and Watarrka (Kings Canyon) went mobile last month.
“This free WiFi will allow tourists and Territorians to instantly upload their happy snaps from one of our spectacular landmarks to a word-wide audience,” Mr Giles said.
“It’s well known that people share more photos when they’re able to do it instantly rather than having to wait until they get to the next destination with coverage, so this free WiFi means more opportunities to promote the NT.
“There is nothing more effective than word-of-mouth marketing with visitors using social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to showcase some of the NT’s best natural assets.
“The free WiFi will also allow Tourism NT to cross-promote experiences in particular regions, encouraging tourists to discover other points of interest around the Barkly or Red Centre areas. We want people to extend their stay in the NT, bringing a bigger spend for local businesses.”
Minister for Parks and Wildlife Bess Price said the free WiFi was great news for Karlu Karlu, which receives 177,000 visitors a year.
“The free WiFi will allow visitors to instantly share their experiences in this beautiful nature reserve with the rest of the world,” Mrs Price said.
“The service will operate during daylight hours and extend from the day use car-park area where there is a clear line of sight. We’ve worked closely with the Central Land Council and traditional owners to establish the service, which will incorporate a Welcome to Country and important Park information.”
Other sites may be considered for Wifi in the future depending on outcomes of the trial.
“This is just one of a number of new innovative initiatives the Giles Government has put in place to boost the Territory’s tourism industry, particularly in regions like the Barkly,” Mr Giles said.
The Government has set up new interpretative signage at Karlu Karlu. It has also provided $100,000 to the nearby Wauchope Hotel from a $1.3 million pool of NT and Commonwealth funding for tourism infrastructure and development projects.
“We’ve established a Local Tourism Advisory Committee in Tennant Creek and are seeing the benefits of our $16 million in increased marketing activity over the past two years with recent figures showing international holiday visitors to the Barkly region up 8.8 per cent to 14,000 for the year ending September 2014 and domestic visitors to the NT up 14 per cent for the same period,” Mr Giles said.
“There’s still a long way to go to return the industry to growth, but new initiatives like this will help us achieve our vision of a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020.”
Tags: Northern Territory