Northern Australia Tourism Initiative


The Australian Government is unlocking the vast potential of northern Australia by helping grow small and medium tourism businesses through experts that give one-on-one advice on how to overcome challenges and expand into new markets.

The $13.6 million Northern Australia Tourism Initiative was one of a suite of new programmes announced in response to Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

The Northern Australia Tourism Initiative extended the Entrepreneurs' Programme and Australian Small Business Advisory Services Programme until 31 December 2019 to meet the needs of tourism businesses in northern Australia.

Entrepreneurs' Programme

The Entrepreneurs' Programme provides free support and advice to help businesses commercialise novel products, processes and services, as well as improve their productivity and competitiveness. The Programme connects businesses to experienced Advisers and Facilitators, sourced from the private sector, who work directly with businesses to help them grow.

Under the Northern Australia Tourism Initiative, the Business Management element of the Programme was expanded to provide services to tourism businesses in northern Australia until 30 June 2019. The Tourism Partnerships service was also announced to help businesses in northern Australia form or improve a collaboration arrangement with other tourism businesses.

The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon Karen Andrews MP extended these services until 31 December 2019. To allow sufficient time for participating businesses to receive advisory services from Entrepreneurs’ Programme business advisers and facilitators, and implement recommendations with the support of an associated Business Growth Grant, no new applications from tourism businesses in northern Australia will be accepted after 30 June 2019.

ASBAS - Northern Australia Tourism Initiative

The Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) Northern Australia Tourism Initiative (NATI) aims to support small tourism businesses to lead the economic charge in northern Australia.

The ASBAS NATI has improved the capacity of established, not-for-profit small business advisory service providers to deliver low cost small business advisory services to tourism small businesses and tourism small business intenders in northern Australia, whose products and/or services are or will be used by tourists.

If you operate or are thinking about starting a tourism small business, you can receive professional, low cost business advisory services from an ASBAS NATI provider. There are a number of organisations across northern Australia delivering professional, low cost business advisory to tourism small businesses throughout northern Australia until 31 December 2019.

Low cost business advisory services can be accessed in the following areas:

  1. Funding avenues and financial analysis
  2. Building your business
  3. Making the most of your talent and team
  4. Management capabilities
  5. Digital engagement implementation
  6. Tourism ready.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to receive assistance, you must:

  • have 19 or less Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees
  • be located within northern Australia, and
  • be servicing or intending to service tourism customers.

How to apply

There is no application process to receive low cost business advisory services from an ASBAS NATI provider. While there will be a charge for the services, it will be a lower cost than the market rate cost for comparable professional services.

To find out more, contact an ASBAS NATI service provider.

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