As the new CEO for Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) I have hit the ground running in the first two weeks of July. It has been a great learning curve getting to know the executive team and stakeholders as well as juggling Ministerial visits. That said, it has been a great way to get up to speed quickly.
My first two weeks have included meetings around the Federal Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia with Ministers from Canberra as well as Federal Shadow Ministers and then the Queensland Cabinet while they were governing from Cairns.
We briefed them on how vital tourism is to Tropical North Queensland, the importance of the visitor economy, the fact that tourism is our region’s lifeblood and that we are the ‘shop front’ to the overarching Cairns economy.
Our discussions included the Great Barrier Reef, Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, diversification, the need to disperse visitors to the wider region, Indigenous tourism opportunities, our tourism workforce, National Park red and green tape, aviation, infrastructure including roads, digital connectivity and a sustainable future for our region.
TTNQ welcomes many of the announcements made by the Queensland Premier and her Ministers last week including funding for the expansion of the Cairns Convention Centre, the go ahead for the Smithfield bypass and the release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Cairns Shipping Development.
In between I have been able to appreciate just how well the local community rises to the occasion when we have the opportunity to stage events. The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and the Royal Ballet, despite the rain at the ballet, were extraordinary events and a great opportunity to mingle with locals and visitors.
This week I am in Brisbane for meetings with Tourism and Events Queensland and Rockhampton for a Regional Tourism Operators meeting. It is a busy first few weeks, but I am looking forward to gradually getting out and about to meet our members with the first networking event in Palm Cove on July 26. I look forward to seeing many of you there.