A holiday in the Northern Territory could make someone a million dollars richer following the launch of an Australian first fishing campaign by Tourism NT.
Chief Minister Adam Giles has launched the Million Dollar Fish competition, which aims to lure visitors from around Australia and overseas by showcasing the Northern Territory as the best place in the world to stay, play and fish.
The competition will see 76 barramundi tagged and released across fishing locations in the Top End with one having a $1 million prize tag and the remaining 75 having $10,000 cash prize tags, bringing the total prize pool to $1.75 million.
Mr Giles said the Million Dollar Fish competition would generate invaluable national and international exposure and put the Northern Territory on the global map as the place to come to fish.
“The Northern Territory has some of the best fishing in the world and the chance to catch the iconic Territory barramundi is one of fishing's greatest challenges. Now that challenge comes with the potential of a one million dollar reward,” he said.
“The promotion is timed to influence travel to the Top End during our low season from October to February with anglers encouraged to travel with their families and enjoy the unique tourism experiences and spectacular landscapes the whole of the Territory has to offer.
“About 40,000 interstate visitors come to the Top End for fishing every year but we want to encourage even more people to stay, play and fish.
“The new, exciting campaign is part of the Territory Government's plan to drive the development of North Australia and build a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020.”
Tourism NT has partnered with CrownBet, Boating Camping Fishing (BCF), XXXX Gold, AOT and Qantas on what will be the biggest fishing competition in Australia.
CrownBet CEO Matt Tripp said CrownBet was proud to be the major sponsor and underwriter of the Million Dollar Fish competition.
“This is a world class competition and Australian first million dollar fishing giveaway. The 75 $10,000 instant win cash prize barramundi also give punters a fair chance at catching a decent prize,” he said.
Mate of the Territory and cricket legend Matthew Hayden, who will be the face of the Million Dollar Fish campaign, encouraged people to register for the competition.
“As a Mate of the Territory, I've been lucky enough to enjoy a range of fishing experiences in the NT. From Bluewater fishing out of Darwin and the Tiwi Islands, to Billabong fishing at Kakadu, tropical sport fishing in East Arnhem Land and river fishing in Katherine – there's something for everyone,” he said.
“I think Million Dollar Fish will be a huge hit and I can't wait to see if someone lands the big one.”
Amateur Fishermen's Association of the NT Executive Officer Tristan Sloan said his organisation worked with Tourism NT to ensure the competition complied with sustainable fishing and best practice tag and release fishing.
“The Northern Territory is nationally and internationally renowned for its untouched environment, amazing wildlife and spectacular recreational fishing. AFANT is proud to support the Million Dollar Fish campaign as it demonstrates the importance of recreational fishing to tourism and the economy of the Top End for both local and visiting anglers,” he said.
The competition will run from 1 October 2015 to 29 February 2016, and participants must register online at www.milliondollarfish.com.au to compete.
Everyone who registers for the competition before 31 August will have the chance to win a holiday to the Northern Territory for four people valued at $20,000.
Tourism NT will kick off a nationwide and international media blitz tonight to promote the new campaign and encourage people to register.