Media Releases

Explore Tropical North Qld with a local chatbot

Travellers visiting Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) can now tap into insider local knowledge on the Great Barrier Reef with the region’s first destination chatbot*; ‘Locals of Tropical North Queensland’.

From unique marine life to the best diving locations, the ‘Locals’ chatbot provides easy access for tourists to explore and plan their trip to the reef through the Facebook Messenger app on their smart phone or computer.

Cairns locals, marine biologist Gareth Phillips and scuba diving instructor Tanya Murphy, are the first people to feature on the chatbot. With more than 25 years’ combined experience, their knowledge will educate, inspire and assist tourists with planning their best trip to the World Heritage-listed wonder.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) created the chatbot to assist travellers considering, planning and experiencing a trip to the reef. The chatbots are accessible via the Facebook Messenger app to its audience of over 1.3 billion global monthly users.

Start chatting to Gareth and Tanya, locals who live, breathe and work on the reef via Facebook Messenger by simply searching ‘Locals of Tropical North Queensland’.

Pip Close, TTNQ CEO
“The Locals of Tropical North Queensland chatbot aims to inspire tourists to explore the Great Barrier Reef and our diverse region through unparalleled local knowledge they can’t get anywhere else.”

“The region’s first chatbot will present an enormous opportunity to reach audiences directly and effectively through Facebook Messenger, to drive awareness for Tropical North Queensland as a top travel destination in 2019.”

Gareth Phillips, Marine Biologist and Reef Teach Owner
“Exploring the big beautiful Great Barrier Reef can be overwhelming, that’s where I can help share my extensive knowledge on coral, marine life and so much more through my Locals of Tropical North Queensland chatbot.”

“The Locals chatbot provides the opportunity for tourists to be informed on what to expect before they go to the reef. When you know more, you can appreciate the wonderful complexities of the world’s largest coral reef and how you can help protect it.”

Tanya Murphy, Scuba Diving Instructor
“I’ve worked on the reef for over seven years and I’m still blown away by how it can be so different each day. It’s great there is now a platform for people to learn, plan and get excited for their trip to the Great Barrier Reef.”

“As a scuba diver, Tourists often ask for recommendations on how and where to dive on the reef – now they can literally pull up my chatbot on their phones and ask away!”

*A chatbot is an artificial intelligence software that can simulate a conversation, or a chat, with a user in a natural language.