CEO-Board Updates

March 2024 CEO Update

TTNQ has launched a Sustainability Leaders Group as part of our vision for Tropical North Queensland to be the leader in ecotourism in Australia and our mission for every visitor to leave our destination as a custodian of the region’s stories.

We have invited 54 members and partners such as Cairns Airport who we recognise as having made a significant commitment to sustainable tourism through the accreditation or certification of their business and hope to double that number in the next 12 months.

This group of leaders has been brought together to share stories, learnings and set priorities for how we lead the nation, and the world, in our approach to sustainable tourism in TNQ.  We already have the most accredited tourism operators of any region with 72 active eco certified companies and 27 businesses undertaking the process with Ecotourism Australia, and we know that our customers care about looking after the planet and having a light footprint.

This initiative is part of our work as one of two destinations in the State selected to undertake phase 2 of the Queensland Tourism Climate Action Plan providing carbon benchmark data and recommended pathways after completing phase 1.

Green Arrow Consulting is undertaking this work on our behalf with Griffith University to develop the framework for TTNQ to lead our industry on the journey to guide the tourism industry to achieving Net Zero before 2050. Consultation is underway with all sectors of the tourism industry including accommodation, tour operators, hospitality venues and Indigenous groups to develop sector-specific strategies.

We have launched a new Sustainability Hub on our website with resources to help members on their journey and we want to hear from you on the ways we can work together as a region. Mentoring will be important, and we want to help you to understand how to measure your carbon output through your accounts.

Accreditation will also be part of the process and I encourage members who are not yet eco certified to apply for the $2000 Tourism Business Capability Subsidy before 27 March to help fund this process.

At TTNQ we have strengthened our partnership with Reforest, particularly with business events which we actively encourage to incorporate regeneration into their event. We purchase a tree as a gift for individuals on our media and trade familiarisations and have planted more than 50 trees this financial year.

Our original Pathways to Sustainable Tourism document will become an annual sustainability report which will include the results from our member survey on what businesses are doing in the sustainability space.

The Federal, State and Local Governments have all pledged their support to a Net Zero pathway and to the preservation and presentation of our incredible natural places, including the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics World Heritage Areas.

Through the Sustainability Leaders Group, TTNQ wants to advocate for the support you need to lead the industry and grow our market share, not only in leisure, but especially in business events where sustainability is an increasingly important differentiator of destinations.


Mark Olsen
Chief Executive Officer