Jin Air and nine Korean wholesalers sold package tours which included the Great Barrier Reef, Wet Tropics rainforest, Kuranda, Port Douglas, the Atherton Tablelands and Cassowary Coast.
The Great Barrier Reef is a major drawcard for this market and the Korean charter travellers visited this World Heritage area with Reef Magic and Sunlover Cruises. They also experienced sky diving, hot air ballooning, white water rafting, Paronella Park, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, and Rainforestation Nature Park.
TTNQ worked with Cairns Airport, Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) and Tourism Australia to support promotional activities in the market and assisted Korean inbound tour operators to establish business relationships between Korean agents and Cairns suppliers.
As part of Queensland on Tour in September, TTNQ and six members – Reef Magic, the CaPTA Group, Shangri-La Cairns, Paronella Park, Sunlover Cruises and Raging Thunder – hosted training workshops for more than 100 Korean agents to familiarise them with Cairns & Great Barrier Reef.
Cairns & Great Barrier Reef was already a popular holiday choice for the Korean market with the International Visitor Survey for the year ending September 2016 recording 10,800 Korean visitors and the charter flights will further boost this figure.
South Korea is a rapidly growing market for Australia and continuing capacity growth will ensure its ongoing success. Cairns is a logical choice for the airline as it is the northern gateway to Australia and has an excellent domestic network that will allow South Koreans to easily travel to other holiday destinations.
Cairns Airport and TTNQ have been in discussions with Jin Air about more seasonal flights and a year-round service to provide a direct connection between South Korea and Australia.
The time has never been better for the introduction of direct air services to Cairns from Asia with positive tourism demand from that region and substantial investment in tourism infrastructure in the region including the Cairns Aquarium, new Crystalbrook Collection hotels, the Port Douglas Reef Marina expansion and the inner-city residential and commercial development Nova City.
TTNQ continues to work with Cairns Airport and TEQ to leverage the positive momentum in the destination and to ensure we establish direct scheduled services via the Connecting with Asia Fund as a matter of priority.
Alex de Waal
Chief Executive Officer