Australia’s NT takes on east coast rivals with new offer

Australia’s Northern Territory is offering conference planners a new funding programme as the state steps up efforts to compete with the country’s Eastern Seaboard destinations.

Organisations can apply for financial assistance of A$100 (about US$78) per delegate up to a maximum of A$50,000 per event under the Northern Territory Business Events Support Fund.

Events that are eligible to apply are required to align with NT priority industry strength sectors and the majority of event participants would have to travel to Northern Territory from beyond the state.

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Support will be weighted towards business events and conferences related to NT’s staple economic sectors, which include health, agribusiness, land management, mining, renewable energy, education and defence.

Andrew Hopper, acting deputy CEO of the state’s department of tourism and culture indicated that the financial assistance for qualified events was designed to complement the NT government’s buy-local policy with NT businesses involved in elements of the event.

“This may range from the appointment of a local PCO or DMC through to covering costs for a local keynote speaker, a welcome function, gala dinner or perhaps a technical touring component in any of our key business event destinations which include Darwin, Alice Springs and Uluru (above),” Hopper said.

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An NT Convention Bureau statement said the new scheme would not only assist the Northern Territory to “increase its share of the keenly sought after business events pie, but also provide planners with invaluable support to consider vibrant and interesting destinations away from the usual Eastern Seaboard capital city rotations”.

It said strong demand is anticipated from the market with planners encouraged to apply promptly via an NT Convention Bureau application form available here.

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