Two sides of a coin

By | Category: Travel destinations

One of Australia’s most popular tourist attractions takes place in the state of Victoria.

The Penguin Parade on Phillip Island, attracts tens of thousands of people to watch the dinner-jacketed birds waddle between the sea to fish and the burrows up the beach. So successful is the attraction that the will be built a $A60 million upgrade in the form of a new Penguin Parade Visitor Centre. The upgrade includes restoring the penguin habitat and creating new areas for the 1,400 plus breeding penguins, Like all visitor centres, this one will have retail outlets and improved dining facilities with a cafe and restaurant.

If sixty million can be found in Victoria it isn’t the case in the Northern Territory. One of the two most well-known places in the territory – Alice Springs – has lost over a dozen flights  a week by the national airline, Qantas. The one of the major tour operators that used to bring visitors from around the world – Contiki – announced that it would remove the Alice from its itineraries.

This double whammy is bound to reduce the number of visitors travelling to a destination that is widely known around the world. Since Neville Shute’s A Town Like Alice,” the Alice is regarded as the capital of central Australia. But for overseas visitors to get there, any form of transport other than flying takes a long, long time. No wonder Contiki pulled out. Without the airline frequency, many visitors won’t have time to visit the city unless that is specifically a place they want to visit. Tour operators who sell 14 and 21 day tours around the vast country rely on air to move their customers around. As Contki goes, others may follow.

Alice Springs

Meanwhile Alice Springs through no great fault of its own will be economically hit by receiving fewer tourists.

If $A60 million can found for a visitor centre in one state cannot a sum be found for supporting tourism in the centre. The Northern Territory doesn’t have a vast budget due it having a small population. But as a special  case the federal government should consider stepping in and persuading Qantas to restore some of the flights.   

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