A business lecturer from Charles Darwin University says the Top End could become the spiritual tourism capital of south-east Asia.
Farooq Haq says Darwin’s central location, multicultural society and impressive natural landscape make it the perfect place for inter-faith meetings, religious camps and spiritual holidays.
He says local businesses could cash in on a Territory wide spiritual tourism campaign.
“The new term we need is spiritual tourism, which will tell people that it is not only an excitement or an experience of travelling but it’s also something spiritual that people gain something that they can’t really express,” he said.
Mr Farooq says people are bored with Northern Territory Indigenous and wildlife tourism campaigns.
He says many people want to use their holidays to reconnect with the natural environment.
“What can be done from a marketing perspective is to market those places as spiritual tourism destinations and add up the value of that place.
“Have a conference, have a meeting or have like a gathering of religious leaders from five, six religions.”
The CEO of Tourism NT, Maree Tetlow, says current campaigns focus on spirited travellers not spirituality.
She says the Territory’s tourism industry is outperforming most other Australian jurisdictions and the campaigns do not need to be changed.
“The nature and the interwoven elements of nature and culture are really what the Territory has to offer and if anything we’re really only seeing increased interest in that,” she said.