FitzSimons leads Northern Territory military tourism campaign
Historical author Peter FitzSimons will lead a new tourism campaign highlighting the range of military experiences on offer in the Northern Territory.
Department of Tourism and Culture CEO Alastair Shields said the promotion acknowledged the growing tourism interest in military history around the world.
“This campaign brings together the Territory’s assets through this important program commemorating our history.
“Designed to coincide with the 75th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin on 19 February, the campaign highlights Darwin as a place of significant historical value, as well as showcasing the city as an appealing holiday destination,” he said.
The Military Heritage campaign targets the 50+ market and focuses on the Top End and specifically Darwin, and showcases a number of other military sites throughout the Northern Territory.
“It is extraordinary that the bombing of Darwin is so often overlooked in the roll-call of enormously significant events in Australia’s military heritage,” FitzSimons says.
“The attack 75 years ago brought the war to our home soil for the first time, and signified the start of a 21-month period of devastating attacks on Northern Australia.”
In the same sense that destinations such as Gallipoli and the Kokoda Track are seen as ‘rites of passage’ for Australians, FitzSimons considers a visit to Darwin crucial in understanding our own history, and paying our respects to those who sacrificed so much for us.
“I first hitch-hiked through Darwin in 1980 as a University student, and have been back many times since,” FitzSimons says.
“I enjoy it more every time that I go, because I know so much more of its rich history. A fortnight ago I visited Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, a rite of passage for many Americans to visit, and I think Darwin should be like that for Australians who really want to understand our own military past.
“Darwin has it all, from its high-tech museums, to its oil storage tunnels and expansive airfields.
“I also love Darwin for its rich aviation history, and its crucial role in being the first stop-off point for those flying from Great Britain in the years immediately following the Great War, but don’t get me started!”
The campaign features relevant attractions, military-themed holiday inspiration and articles highlighting Darwin’s rich WWII history and will run in National Geographic, Wartime Magazine, News.com.au, History Channel, and daily newspapers.
FitzSimons will spend two nights in Darwin for the 75th anniversary, where he will attend a range of local commemorative events and experience the city’s military heritage offering.
The Military Heritage campaign supports Tourism NT’s ongoing ‘Do the NT’ activity, and supports the vision to grow the visitor economy in the NT to $2.2 billion by 2020.