CEO-Board Updates

February 2020 CEO Update

Today I am joining tourism industry representatives to meet with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones in Brisbane to discuss the outlook for the region in the wake of the coronavirus and southern bushfires and how we can move forward.

To date there have been more than $20 million in direct bookings in the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region cancelled as a result of the coronavirus. At this time of the year, Chinese visitors alone would contribute more than $25 million a month to the economy. It is absolutely essential that we contain the spread of the virus as the first step so the industry can get back to offering amazing visitor experiences to international travellers.

Since the announcement of the outbreak TTNQ has had daily meetings with the Queensland Government, Tourism Australia, Tourism and Events Queensland, Cairns Airport, airlines and all other Queensland regions to provide a seamless experience for visitors looking to come to the region.

TTNQ’s immediate focus is relaunching our Drive North Queensland regional partnership encouraging Queenslanders to holiday here in Queensland. We will also leverage the Tourism Australia and TEQ campaigns both interstate and here in Queensland to encourage Australians to holiday here.

We encourage all members to join TTNQ for the start of the destination’s next chapter with the launch of the new brand platform using the name Cairns and Great Barrier Reef on 11 March. At the launch, you will learn about the Visitor Experience Toolkit and see how several hero experiences have worked with the TTNQ team to align their signature experience with the new brand story.

The domestic market will be our immediate focus, but once the time is right key international markets like North America, Japan, Europe and New Zealand will be areas we can target for growth.

TTNQ is continuing to work on a daily basis with our trade partners in China as this is also impacting them. We know that we will recover and we know that those relationships that were founded over the past 20 years in China will continue to be important. We will continue to support those trade partners and the visitors who bring so much to our community economically, socially and environmentally.

I urge operators to share the impacts they are feeling with TTNQ by emailing cancellation figures to [email protected] so we can share them with TA and TEQ. I also encourage operators to seek opportunities to leverage the campaigns by TA and TEQ.

Tourism Australia Campaign

TA has launched the Holiday Here This Year campaign to encourage Australians to travel domestically in 2020 and has asked everyone across the industry to help spread the word. The more visibility, discussion and engagement of this message and commitment, the greater the awareness and influence to drive domestic tourism across the country.

You can find the consumer website section about it here. And the trade website section including a toolkit is available here very shortly.

The toolkit contains information on what it’s all about as well as some logos for you to use on your own marketing – It’ll be updated as more assets including state-specific logos are produced.

Cairns & Great Barrier Reef operators can leverage Tourism Australia’s Holiday Here This Year campaign by advertising in Qantaslink Spirit Magazine featuring our destination.

Tourism and Events Queensland Campaign

TEQ has launched a major campaign throughout domestic markets to further leverage the TA campaign. The campaign launched on digital outlets and will be rolled out across television, out-of-home advertising and social media over the coming weeks.

It’s important that each of the state’s regions work even more closely to market Queensland holidays under a common theme to present compelling campaigns to drive visitors to the state this year. An industry toolkit is being developed that will outline everything you need to know about the campaign and how to integrate it into your own marketing.


Mark Olsen
Chief Executive Officer

5 February 2020