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Australia's Outback Is CallingMay 21, 2007 By: Mark Rogers Travel Agent
Northern Territory offers rugged natural beauty and Aboriginal culture
Travel Agent recently caught up with Marie Tetlow, chief executive of Tourism Northern Territory, while in Los Angeles promoting the region she describes as "Australia's outback—the quintessential Australian experience." Between Western Australia and Queensland, the Northern Territory is twice the size of Texas. With 204,000 people, the Northern Territory accounts for less than one percent of Australia's total population, and Aboriginal people make up 30 percent of its population.
space—it's a great choice for families and couples," says Tetlow. She
provided a snapshot of a typical
than a vacation—they're experience seekers beyond the 'fly and flock'
crowd," she explains. "They're into self-development,
college-educated, Internet savvy, with disposable income." Tetlow adds
that they're actively targeting university alumni groups and members of the
Representatives from Venture North Australia were also at the meeting with Tetlow.
"We can arrange tours for as few as one person," says Brendan
Bainbridge, director of Venture North Australia. "It's a cross-cultural
experience—we go to areas that aren't overrun." Bainbridge describes his
tours as being ideal for families and special interest groups, especially those
interested in viewing rock art in southern and central Kimberly. "For
visitors to have an authentic outback experience, they have to sacrifice some
luxuries," advises Bainbridge. The travel agent liaison for Venture North
Australia is Director Nerida Hilly. She can be reached at [email protected]. Dreaming
The average visitor to
spends 10 to 14 days, while the average length of stay in the
Tetlow recommends visitors devote at least three days to exploring the
"Only two percent of outbound visitors to
Tetlow says. "The long-haul flight is the main barrier." Competitive
airfare is also a consideration. However, Qantas has re-established Aussie
Airpass, priced from $1,099 (plus taxes and charges), which is an encouraging
sign. The pass provides a roundtrip international flight, plus three flights
The price varies according to season, initial destination within
Tetlow adds that lodging in the
most part, with three-and four-star properties being common. Luxury
accommodations can be found at Longitude
131, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
"We have an education program for agents, Northern
Territory Specialist, which is a subsection of the Aussie Specialist
program," says Tetlow. Visit www.tourism.australia.com or www.australiasoutback.com
for more information.