About us

The Department of Tourism and Culture was established by the Northern Territory Government on 12 September, 2016.

It is an amalgamation of the previous Departments of Sport and Recreation, Arts and Museums, Parks and Wildlife and Tourism NT, as well as the Heritage division.

The department is responsible for increasing visitation to the Northern Territory, delivering and supporting the protection, conservation and management of the NT's parks and native wildlife, creating a thriving, imaginative and innovative creative economy and encouraging lifelong involvement in sport and recreation.

The department has two ministers, one CEO and four divisions.

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More about parks and wildlife

The Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory is responsible for a comprehensive system of land and marine protected areas across the Northern Territory (NT) - managing over 90 parks and reserves for conservation and nature based recreation and tourism.

The park and reserve system covers over 45,000 square kilometres, from the arid centre to the tropical Top End, which is around 3.5% of the Territory's land mass.

Of over 90 parks and reserves, 32 are jointly managed with Aboriginal people.

The commission also helps the community in the protection, conservation and management of the NT's native wildlife and to protect the public and maintain confidence in relation to dangerous and problem wildlife, particularly saltwater crocodiles.

The Parks and Wildlife Commission NT is made up of five areas of management:

  • park operations
  • conservation and wildlife - including crocodile management
  • tourism and visitor services
  • planning
  • partnerships.

The Parks and Wildlife Commission of the NT is responsible for:

  • managing and protecting parks and reserves, including visitor management and conservation management (fire, weeds and feral animals)
  • joint management to allow traditional owners and government to work together in managing national parks
  • promotion of education, recreation and tourism on parks
  • planning, visitor monitoring and interpretive signage programs
  • providing and encouraging commercial opportunities on parks and reserves
  • working with land managers to improve biodiversity outcomes
  • regulation of the movement and commercial use of wildlife in the NT
  • development and implementation of feral animal management plans for NT wildlife
  • promoting best practice conservation techniques
  • protecting the public and maintaining confidence in relation to dangerous and nuisance wildlife, particularly estuarine crocodiles
  • regulating and monitoring the issue and compliance of permits relating to wildlife use and trade.

More about arts and museums

Arts and Museums brings together cultural and collecting institutions from across the Territory, as well as the Territory's film office and the arts funding and development branch.

It is responsible for:

  • protecting and providing access to the Territory's scientific and cultural asset collections
  • helping the community care for, and make best use of, these assets for research
  • creating educational, recreation and commercial opportunities.

More about sport

The role of Sport and Recreation is to invest in and develop the sport and recreation sectors of the NT. The division also represents the Territory's interests in police and decision making forums regarding sporting development and delivery at a national level.

More about tourism

Tourism NT was established as a commission by the Northern Territory Government under the Tourism NT Act 2012.

Tourism NT’s role is to increase the desirability of the Northern Territory as a travel destination, inspiring more people to visit, stay longer and spend more.

The division develops short and long-term marketing campaigns that capture the NT’s sense of humour and irreverence and let people know it’s about time they ‘Do the NT’.

Campaigns highlight the incredible natural beauty of the NT's diverse regions from the tropical Top End to the rich outback of the Red Centre and the amazing adventures you can have here, focusing on the ease of access to the Northern Territory.

This shows that the Northern Territory is a place where you can do more than you could ever imagine.

Tourism NT is responsible for marketing and influencing the development of the Northern Territory as a competitive visitor destination for the continuing benefit of Territorians.

The functions of Tourism NT are to market the Territory as a desirable visitor destination and facilitate the sustainable growth of the tourism industry in the Territory.

Tourism NT works with the following main partners and stakeholders to achieve these outcomes:

tourism industry to market the Territory interstate and overseas as a visitor destination
travel industry to influence and coordinate partnerships with wholesalers and retail agents to facilitate distribution of the Territory's tourism product
Northern Territory Government, through the Minister for Tourism, by providing policy and other advice
Tourism Board of Commissioners, on strategic issues facing the Northern Territory's tourism industry.

Strategic plans

Tourism and Culture Strategic Plan 2017-2020 (1.0 mb)

Tourism Vision 2020

Annual reports






To access previous annual reports, email the department on communications.dtc@nt.gov.au or call (08) 8999 3854.

Our Ministers

Hon. Lauren Moss - Minister for Tourism and Culture

Hon. Ken Vowles - Minister for Arafura Games

Our management

Acting CEO Michael Tennant

Deputy CEO with responsibility for Tourism NT Andrew Hopper

Parks and Wildlife Executive Director Mark Ashley

Acting Arts and Museum Executive Director Susan Kirkman

Sport and Recreation Executive Director Phillip Leslie

Last updated: 18 December 2017