With the hospitality and tourism sector being a major pillar of the Northern Territory (NT) economy and with growth forecasted, the NT is keen to:

  • maximise opportunities for locals
  • ensure there is a sufficient workforce to sustain and grow this vibrant industry.

The hospitality and tourism sector employs around 17,000 staff each year. With a very high demand for staff across a wide range of roles, hospitality and tourism businesses and local employees will benefit from a focus on strengthening the workforce, building the skills of employees and attracting local staff to longer term career opportunities and development.

The department’s licensing team, business services, workforce development and tourism teams work closely with the sector.

Industry partnerships

Food tourism

Tourism NT works closely with Hospitality NT to deliver a range of programs and encourage the development of new visitor experiences. Prior to COVID-19, 50 cents in each $1 spent in a café, restaurant or takeaway food outlet could be attributed to a visitor.

In 2019, Tourism NT and Hospitality NT partnered to deliver the Signature Series program which encouraged local hospitality businesses to profile a hero local ingredient in their signature dish or drink. The program included photography, web content development and promotional activities, with the content developed through this series forming a core component of food tourism promotions. A masterclass on food styling and photography was also offered through the Signature Series program, which was well subscribed by the hospitality sector.

Tourism NT supports the annual Hospitality NT Gold Plate Awards, a prime opportunity to showcase the best of the Territory's restaurant and dining establishments, and recognise and promote excellence and best practice across the sector. The Territory's unique food and drink offerings also continue to be promoted through Tourism NT's trade and media familiarisation programs. A particular highlight was chef, former food critic and TV host Matthew Evans presenting at the 2019 Hospitality NT industry forum to discuss the importance of food provenance.

To find out more, go to the Tourism NT website.


One of the NT Government’s priorities is to reduce alcohol-related harm. Licensing NT also works in partnership with hospitality venues to fulfil this aim by ensuring regulation of the sale, service, promotion and supply of liquor in a way that stimulates and promotes the hospitality and tourism industries.

Compliance officers provide advice to hospitality venues about their individual licence conditions and legislative obligations, as well as conduct education campaigns and inspections to ensure licensees are operating lawfully.

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Last updated: 08 March 2022

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