The announcement that China Southern Airlines will begin direct scheduled services to Cairns from December is a great start to the new financial year for the tourism industry.
Congratulations to TTNQ’s staff and members, and our partners Cairns Airport, Cairns Regional Council and Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Australia and China Southern Airlines for their hard work in bringing this important new service to fruition.
My first few weeks as CEO will be spent meeting staff, the TTNQ Board, members and stakeholders to discuss the issues important to our industry. These issues were raised yesterday with the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia. Director Wendy Morris and I presented a report on the opportunities and challenges to stimulate the tourism industry in Northern Australia.
Among the issues we raised were:
Limited investment in leveraging awareness of globally iconic tourism assets such as the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest.
Limited product in remote and frontier areas including Cape York, Torres Strait and the Gulf Savannah.
The high visitor to resident ratio in tourism reliant remote locations limits the ability of small communities to invest in driving demand and optimising potential economic returns.
A lack of adequate and sustainable funding for regional and local tourism management organisations.
The need for tourism education and training to be undertaken at all levels of schooling to develop the motivation and fundamental people skills required for the tourism industry.
The lack of robust tourism data and analysis for Northern Australia.
Next week the Queensland Government will be governing from Cairns giving our industry another opportunity to discuss the issues important to our future with decision makers.
It is exciting to be leading such a dynamic and successful team and industry in this spectacular destination.
I look forward to meeting many of you at TTNQ’s networking function on July 26 at The Reef House in Palm Cove.