Alcohol Restrictions Hamper Alice Springs Tourism

Alcohol Restrictions Hamper Alice Springs Tourism

Tourism Central Australia (TCA) has urged the Northern Territory government to reconsider alcohol trading restrictions in Alice Springs. The restrictions, implemented in January 2023, have closed bottle shops on Mondays and Tuesdays and limited trading hours to 3-7pm on other days.

TCA argues that these restrictions have negatively impacted the tourism industry, with some members reporting revenue declines of over 50%. TCA Chair Patrick Bedford emphasized that tourists expect to purchase necessary provisions, including alcohol, while traveling.TCA proposes that bottle shops be allowed to open for an additional day per week or remain open daily during the peak tourist season (April-October). These changes would enable businesses to provide a complete experience for tourists and support the investment being made in Central Australia's tourism sector.

Lasseters Hotel Casino chief executive Craig Jervis believes that the restrictions hinder businesses from meeting the needs of tourists. He highlighted the inconvenience of bottle shops being closed for extended periods.In response to concerns that tourists primarily visit to experience Aboriginal culture and the landscape, TCA contends that this argument is outdated. While appreciating the importance of Aboriginal culture, TCA maintains that alcohol consumption is a reality that needs to be acknowledged and catered to.

TCA also disputes claims that alcohol consumption has declined in Alice Springs since the restrictions were implemented. They argue that the available evidence does not support this assertion.TCA emphasizes that the current alcohol trading restrictions have had a significant negative impact on tourism. They urge the government to consider implementing the proposed changes to support the industry and ensure that Alice Springs remains an attractive destination for tourists.