LILLE — Darwin, the city where Australian pop-culture icons like Prince and Queen Alice were born and raised, has been named the world’s longest running tourist site.
The International Association of Tourism Tourism Development and Management (IATDT) said it would announce the ranking at the International Tourism Conference (ITC) in Lille, France, on Saturday.
It was established in 1991 and covers nearly 2,000 kilometres of Australia’s northern beaches.
More than 1.2 million tourists visit Lille every year and it was the site of the famous Lille Opera House for the last time in 2019.
A national award has also been given to the city by the Tourism Minister, Peter Barilaro, for its work in attracting tourists to Australia.
“Lille is a place where all the best things in life can happen.
This is the city that gave us Prince and Princess Alice, and this is where the first of them got their start,” Barilaros said.
Lille has been visited by more than 70,000 Australians in its nearly 30-year history, with the city hosting the opening ceremony for the world premiere of the blockbuster movie “Hollywoodland” in January.
Barrilaros’ tourism portfolio includes the national capital city of Canberra, the Australian Outback, the northern region of the Great Barrier Reef, and a vast region of South Australia, known as the Northern Territory.
In 2018, the International Association for Tourism Tourism Management awarded the city a gold medal for its efforts to attract international tourists to the area.
Its ranking was the highest among the 10,000 sites rated by the IATDT, including in the tourism-related industries, such as tourism tourism, hotels and restaurants, tourism and accommodation and hospitality.
Tourism in Australia is booming, with more than $3 billion in new business and tourism arrivals expected in 2018.