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 is one of a suite of new programmes announced in response to Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, available under Publications on the Office of Northern Australia website.

The Northern Australia Tourism Initiative extends the Entrepreneurs' Programme and Australian Small Business Advisory Services Programme 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.

The Tourism Partnerships service was announced under the Northern Australia Tourism Initiative to help businesses in northern Australia to form or improve a collaboration arrangement with other tourism businesses.


Through the Entrepreneurs' Programme you can receive tailored advice, an action plan and one-on-one coaching as part of the below services:

  • Business Evaluation - assists with overall business improvement through a comprehensive evaluation of your business. This is a good place to start in the Programme.
  • Growth Services - prepares your business for rapid growth where you have identified a new product or market opportunity.
  • Supply Chain Facilitation - assists with understanding your buyer's needs and requirements and helps improve your supply chain.
  • Tourism Partnerships - help you to form or improve a collaboration arrangement with other tourism businesses.

After you have received one of the above services you may be eligible for a Business Growth Grant to assist you with implementing business improvements recommended by your Business Adviser or Business Facilitator.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the Entrepreneurs' Programme under the Northern Australia Tourism Initiative, your business must:

  • generate a significant portion of your revenue from visitors;
  • operate in a tourism-related industry. This could include retailers, cafes, restaurants and pubs;
  • operate in the Northern Territory or above the Tropic of Capricorn in Queensland or Western Australia;
  • be a solvent company with an annual turnover or operating expenditure between $750,000 and $100 million;
  • have filed business activity statements showing ongoing trading for at least three successive years; and
  • have not been named by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as an organisation that has not complied with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth).

You are not eligible if you:

  • resell tickets or vouchers for tourism-related products and services; or
  • are a local tourism body or regional tourism organisation.

Additional eligibility criteria may apply for some services.

How to apply

For more information, read the Customer Information Guide - 

To apply, fill in the online application form for the service you wish to apply for:

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 30 June 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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