CEO-Board Updates

June 2024 CEO Update

More than 140 Tourism Tropical North Queensland members and key partners were shown how to grab hold of marketing opportunities at the My Queensland TNQ Tourism Conference at Hilton Cairns last week. It was an ideal opportunity for members to connect with TTNQ’s partners to plan their marketing strategies as domestic headwinds and slow international recovery make the way forward challenging.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Pip Harrison reminded us that there is enormous opportunity with the high-value traveller, but the industry has a responsibility to lean in and take advantage of international markets which are predicted to outstrip the domestic market in the future. This week we are seeing further positive signs for our international recovery with Jetstar announcing direct flights to Christchurch just a few weeks after AirAsia Indonesia revealed it would begin direct flights to Cairns.

TTNQ’s Lani Strathearn emphasised the need to work with our international trade partners to take advantage of 95 campaigns currently in market around the world. Just 30% of these campaigns have already generated $40 million in visitor spend and 50,000 international operator referrals with even bigger numbers anticipated when final reports are in. In addition we have undertaken 6000 trade engagements and more than 70 international trade and media famils.

Our consumer site has received 520,000 international visits and global searches for the destination are increasing faster than the Gold Coast placing Cairns at the same search level as our capital cities which can be attributed to the volume of campaigns bringing increased awareness of our destination.

It is critical that the industry act now to leverage the investment and partnerships that TTNQ is forging with our trade partners to build a long-lasting legacy after the International Tourism Recovery Program funding finishes in 12 months.

This means taking advantage of our destination’s strengths, such as bundling experiences into a package. Rod Carrington from the Ignite Group showed that Tropical North Queensland was leading in basket sizes for My Queensland with customers buying more touring inclusions in our region than anywhere else in the company’s short-haul markets.

There is up to a four-month lead time for bookings with My Queensland, an average length of stay of 6.1 nights, and an average of 2.3 day tours booked per package bringing basket sizes up from $190 in 2023 to $3500 in 2024.

Our destination is treated more like an international holiday than other Australian destinations which is good news for our operators as the pre-bookings give them certainty and the opportunity for more purchases once the visitor is in region.

Tourism and Events Queensland’s Kim McConnie brought us up to date on their key marketing campaigns including the successful international launch of ‘Queensland is Bluey’s World’ and stressed the importance of events to take our industry forward.

Chris Ernst from Dentsu reinforced the importance of being remarkable in marketing and utilising the most effective channels, followed by Simon Kuestenmacher from The Demographics Group talking about the opportunities with the growing middle class of Asia.

Scott Millar stretched us out of our comfort zone with his talk on artificial intelligence and brought us back to show how we need to be comfortable in this space, while Marine Social Scientist Yolanda Waters and our local panel helped to unpack the science of storytelling.

Having everyone in the room together at the annual TTNQ marketing conference created a great atmosphere of working together to promote our destination and, importantly, helped individual products to navigate the way forward and identify the partners they can work with.


Mark Olsen
Chief Executive Officer