According to the latest International Visitor Survey, released today, the visitors contributed $485 million to the Territory, an increase of 16 per cent compared to the previous year.
Visitors to the NT spent almost four million nights here and spent an average $124 per night, the most in Australia.
Uluru continued to be a major drawcard for international visitors with 185,000 visiting the sacred site, while 86,000 visited the Kings Canyon.
Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks were also very popular with 67,000 and 59,000 visitors respectively.
More than three quarters of the people who visited the NT, travelled to regional places outside of Darwin.
Backpackers Sebastien Cziglenyi, 29, and Nina Cesnovar, 19, said they were enjoying their time in the Top End.
Mr Cziglenyi had always planned to tour through Darwin on his roadtrip around Australia, but Ms Cesnovar only added the NT to her list after other backpackers in Perth recommended she head up north.
“I’m travelling all around Australia, and now I thought I’d look for work around Darwin,” Mr Cziglenyi said. “I thought I’d come here because everyone said it was a place filled with backpackers and there was lots of partying.”
Aside from the night-life of the city, they’ve both got out of town on tours of Litchfield National Park.
“If you come here and you don’t go to Litchfield or Kakadu, it’s just a waste,” Mr Cziglenyi said.
28 per cent of all international visitors to the NT were backpackers.
Federal Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said it was clear the Northern Territory was a destination of choice for international visitors.
“International tourists are heading north when they head down under and their wallets are wide open,” he said.
“The Northern Territory is attracting record numbers of international tourists, and they’re staying longer and spending more.
This article was originally published by NT News.