CEO-Board Updates

August 2020 CEO Update

Mark Olsen

Cairns & Great Barrier Reef will be in the spotlight next week with Queensland’s Cabinet, the State’s tourism leaders and the Today Show’s weather team all in region.

Our region has been vocal in lobbying politicians for assistance to survive the economic fallout of COVID-19 and TTNQ will continue to push our message that business assistance must be extended for tourism businesses to survive.

With the number of visitors down from 55,000 a day to just 5500, our industry needs the Business Support Program lifeline of permit and application fee waivers, port and passenger charge waivers, payroll and land tax reductions, and rental assistance extended until June 2021.

Businesses on JobKeeper need a full fee waiver on commercial vehicle and vessel registration, additional Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority loans for businesses in tourism-dependent communities and funds in the Industry Support Package quarantined for significant employers in tourism-dependent communities.

This support is essential to ensure the region retains the visitor experiences that have made us Australia’s most desirable nature-based coastal and aquatic destination.

We will do our utmost to ensure the Queensland Cabinet understands just how dire the industry’s situation is when they see it first-hand next week.

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) Board will be in Cairns next week to meet with local businesses and the TTNQ Board to also hear what is needed for regional tourism to survive the economic fallout from the pandemic.

In addition, we are delighted to be hosting the Regional Tourism Organisation Network meeting which is normally held in Brisbane.

These strategic meetings come as our region’s sporting event calendar is reactivated beginning with the Tour of the Tropics last weekend. Next up is Targa Great Barrier Reef, followed by the Cairns Airport IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship Cairns, three NRL games and the Super Netball.

Having the Today Show travelling around the region next week to do live weather crosses showcasing our spectacular scenery and many visitor experiences will further cement the desirability of our destination in the minds of people planning a holiday.

Currently the top-rating breakfast television program, the Today Show will do live crosses from Cooktown, Cape Tribulation, the Atherton Tablelands, Mission Beach and Cairns.

Cairns & Great Barrier Reef is already the talk of the nation with Cairns the number one region in Australia for Google travel searches.

The Cairns to Brisbane air route is now the busiest in the country as intrastate demand for our region increases on the back of targeted marketing campaigns. Flights are about to increase from Adelaide and Brisbane, while Jetstar is resuming the Gold Coast and Darwin routes.

We are poised to take advantage of a hungry marketplace when domestic travel opens up again.

To ensure we can meet that demand we need our region’s diverse visitor experiences to be open and ready to welcome travellers. Continued government support is critical in ensuring this happens so tourism can once again start clawing back the much needed $3.5 billion visitor expenditure our destination is capable of generating for our regional economy.

Cheers

Mark Olsen
Chief Executive Officer