The first three nights of Parrtjima have seen Alice Springs glow with excitement as thousands of people flock to the Red Centre to take in the sights and sounds of the 10-night festival.
Hospitality and tourism operators reported strong figures as a result of the influx of visitors, with barely an empty hotel room over the opening weekend.
From sunrise hot air balloon experiences to sunset camel rides and Uluru excursions, visitors have used their time in the region to experience as much as possible.
Almost 8000 attendances were recorded for Parrtjima’s opening weekend.
Visitors enjoyed a live performance from electronic music duo Electric Fields in front of the MacDonnell Ranges light show and dined under a canopy of outback stars at the Merne Desert Dinner.
Interactive workshops were also a hit with National Indigenous Fashion Awards Director Nina Fitzgerald, the artists from Maruku Arts and bushfood experts Mark Olive and Rayleen Brown.
The talks program was a hit, with NRL legend Josh Addo-Carr sharing tales of his life in professional sport.
Author Bruce Pascoe offered an insight into his new book, Loving Country and Parrtjima artists Jungala Kriss and Raymond Walters Japanangka revealed the storylines, heritage and culture behind their incredible artwork.
Parrtjima runs from 9-18 April 2021 at Alice Springs Desert Park, Todd Mall and Araluen Arts Centre. It is free to attend but you must register at www.parrtjima.com.au
Quotes from Minister for Major Events Natasha Fyles:
“The Territory Labor Government has invested in Parrtjima which has become a unique event on the Australian calendar.
“Thousands of interstate tourists have already travelled to the Red Centre to experience everything Parrtjima has to offer.
“Local businesses are already seeing the results with a surge in bookings for tourism activities and hotel rooms.”
Quotes from Danial Rochford, CEO, Tourism Central Australia:
“Our operators have seen great interest in their offerings, which is fantastic news after a year where tourism was severely impacted by travel restrictions.
"Several tours and experiences have been fully booked, which is fantastic.
“As a major festival on the events calendar Parrtjima has certainly helped encourage people to visit the Red Centre, and our operators are seeing the benefits, along with plenty of other local businesses.”
Quotes from Alex Bruce, CEO, Hospitality NT:
“Businesses in Alice are reporting increased bookings and excitement associated to Parrtjima.