The TTNQ sales and marketing team and more than 70 member products flew the flag for Cairns & Great Barrier Reef at the Australian Tourism Exchange in Sydney this week.
More than 1000 international travel trade buyers and Australian product representatives gathered at the Sydney International Convention Centre on May 15-18, while some 1200 Australian products and international buyers are attending the online event on May 24-26.
Cairns & Great Barrier Reef has traditionally been the largest contingent at ATE and it is pleasing to see such strong numbers emerge from the pandemic to represent the destination once again.
The people behind our industry love selling the destination to the world and ATE was their first chance in three years to have face-to-face meetings with these important buyers, so the atmosphere was electric!
It was a very intense business event for our industry with 75 appointments across two and a half days in between networking events and the opportunity for another 137 online appointments over three days.
The industry was pleased to discover nearly all the Western market representatives attending in person and a strong contingent from Japan, while the Chinese meetings will mostly be online. The TTNQ team met with many former trade contacts and have a long list of new contacts to follow-up with.
There is a strong appetite for Cairns & Great Barrier Reef with the buyers amazed at the extent of the new product offerings in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef with more than 30 new experiences discussed as part of the education process with the international markets. Indigenous, sustainability, nature and wildlife are of great interest. They are looking forward to tours operating daily once again.
Staffing continues to be an issue for the trade, but they were very appreciative of the strong support by the tourism industry. With new staff coming on board it is vitally important that we invest in in-market training. Partnerships with other Regional Tourism Organisations, aviation, TA and TEQ are the way forward for greater reach in the international markets.
ATE is the first big step for our destination’s re-entry plan for our key international markets and TTNQ will be vigorously pursuing these trade relationships to ensure Cairns & Great Barrier Reef is front of mind.
Chief Executive Officer