CEO-Board Updates

June 2022 CEO Update

Cairns has earned the reputation as the best place in the world for wildlife viewing and the third best for diving and snorkelling, according to the latest Destination Think! Tourism Sentiment Index.

The Index measures the consumer feedback on more than 1000 destinations worldwide by analysing millions of pieces of online content and found in the first quarter of 2022 that our region’s strengths are with diving and snorkelling, wildlife viewing and beaches.

Cairns ranked No. 9 globally for beaches, while the whole region of Tropical North Queensland also performed well ranking No. 3 for wildlife viewing and No. 5 for diving and snorkelling.

This good news comes on the back of a very successful Ironman Asia-Pacific weekend with an $11 million injection into our economy thanks to some 10,500 spectators arriving to watch 3500 athletes swim at Palm Cove, cycle the Great Barrier Reef Drive and run along the Cairns Esplanade on one of the world’s most picturesque Ironman courses.

We know that Cairns & Great Barrier Reef is the best place to race in Australia with a huge participation and elite sporting events calendar including the new additions of the Gran Fondo and Crankworx joining the Cairns Marathon, Tour of the Tropics and Reef to Reef to name a few.

The excitement throughout the weekend was incredible with cafes, restaurants and accommodation heaving with competitors and their supporters. Many stayed on to experience the region further, while a strong contingent arrived early to acclimatise to exercising in our warm weather.

The online chatter and publicity from Ironman and multiple live weather crosses on Monday with the Today show will keep us top of mind for the new few months as the temperature drops down south – hopefully keeping Cairns at the top of the Google rankings as the most popular regional destination in Australia as cold southerners think about a warm getaway.

TTNQ has made sure Australians continue to think about our destination in the months ahead with a winter campaign and media stories to roll out from our first domestic mega famil in three years with more than 20 journalists from across Australia joining famils across the region.

Forward bookings are strong with Tropical North Queensland looking set to receive record numbers of domestic travellers through to August. Our website traffic hit a record in May with 257,000 users, 95% of which are new users, driving more operator referrals than ever – especially from our new blog content and our Deals page.

This week our first cruise ship arrives and the next phase of the region’s international recovery begins with more services from Singapore Airlines while direct flights resume from Japan and New Zealand in July. Our Working Holiday Maker campaign ‘First Class to Paradise’ has been launched to help ease the staffing shortage and we are working closely with Government to give our region a voice.

Winter looks likely to be another record breaker for domestic travel, and with international visitation starting to grow, the towns of Tropical North Queensland are finally feeling busy again – so make sure you rejoin TTNQ and help us drive market share and visitor spend for your region and your business.


Mark Olsen
Chief Executive Officer