By ERWIN CHLANDA
Council candidate Kylie Bonanni is a member of the Tourism NT board and says as a councillor she would be in a good position to re-direct the focus of government promotion from Darwin to Alice Springs.
She says the Town Council can be a powerful lobbyist of the government.
She thinks the Do the NT campaign is doing well, offering tailored packages (see footnote).
A third airline would be great for Alice, and attention should be shifted from the area around the casino to the centre of the town.
The $5m from the government for the Mall upgrade was a good move – and there is room for more of it.
Ms Bonanni says the town is cleaner than in the recent past, and now’s the time to increase foot traffic in the CBD, “sit outside in our perfect weather,” entice people to go out and have meals or coffee, and boost the confidence of traders some of whom are doing it tough.
Ms Bonanni’s interest in tourism started when she arrived in town as an 18-year-old. She took a hospitality course at the Gillen House tourism school and then worked at the – old – airport for several years.
She is now employed full time by the Cancer Council.
Ms Bonanni says there is little building activity but expects Kilgariff to crank up the construction industry as well as providing affordable housing.
The Stirling Heights development wasn’t much help to new home buyers as spec builders snapped up the land and turned off homes at around $700,000.
Ms Bonanni’s has more than a casual link with the building industry: her husband is a member of the big Italian family which owns the brick works.
She met him two weeks after moving to Alice with her parents from Ballarat 26 years ago. Her father was the first gold room manager at the Granites mine.
The mother of three says the mining industry, too, needs nurturing, encouraging mine workers to live here with their families, rather than running fly-in, fly-out operations.
Ms Bonanni’s two girls and one boy, all “Alice born and bred,” are aged 23, 18 and 16.
She says the skating issue has been dealt with heavy-handedly by the council.
She was in favour of the initially proposed three months trial but after hearing the presentation by Murray Stewart on Monday she now says skating should not be allowed in the CBD.
FOOTNOTE: Results from campaigns with partners selling packages promoting “Do the NT” have been positive.
• 49.5% growth in passengers booked year on year for co operative online travel agent campaign.
• 38% growth in passengers booked year on year for a co operative Qantas campaign.
• 39% growth in NT Operator TXA sales (an online booking system for Individual Operators) for October vs last year.
• Territory Discoveries has also had double digit growth since the launch of the campaign comparably to last year, another good indicator of success considering it wholesales to the bigger retailers in the market.
Council candidate well placed to boost tourism
By ERWIN CHLANDA