CEO-Board Updates

May 2024 CEO Update

Team Tropical North Queensland held more than 7000 appointments to promote the destination in Melbourne last week at the Australian Tourism Exchange 2024. Our destination was represented at 48 booths with 86 delegates attending the four days of trade appointments and events, in addition to meetings with aviation partners and media.

The Southern Hemisphere’s largest tourism trade event was attended by 1500 members of the Australian tourism industry and 71 global tourism wholesalers and retailers. Staff numbers have returned, and resourcing issues resolved for buyers from the various markets allowing them to better engage at ATE this year.

Campaign activities with partners were renewed, including collaboration with TEQ buy-ins, joint campaigns with other Regional Tourism Organisations and our standalone campaigns. Significant trade engagement was secured for TTNQ and our members to host training sessions through webinars, incentives and famils.

New product and destinations not previously visited in our region were a hot topic with the international trade showing strong interest in the region’s operators who had not participated in ATE before.

Western Markets Sales and Marketing Manager Kath Cutler received excellent feedback on TTNQ’s famils program held over the past year to showcase destinations and tours not previously explored.

The United Kingdom and European market is reaching spend targets despite lower passenger numbers with solid opportunities in the drive and youth markets. The European market is heavily focused on self-drive tours with Tropical North Queensland benefiting from positive reach through digital targeted itineraries.

Our region featured in every itinerary for the youth and mainstream group series which is delivering more passengers and departures year-on-year and providing our longest length of stay as well as helping low season dispersal.

New partnerships and exposure for the region were achieved in France, Italy and the Netherlands thanks to engagement activities by TTNQ’s PR agency.

Trade representatives in the China market were excited by the opportunity for additional seasonal flights to Cairns after the return of China Eastern for the 2024 Chinese New Year.

While recovery is still ongoing with global competition and China’s tough economic climate impacting travel choices, the buyers were highly engaged with developing tailor-made and free and independent travel options.

Disruptions to traditional Australian and New Zealand group itineraries are presenting a significant opportunity for Tropical North Queensland to pick up an additional night or two in region for groups.

TTNQ’s China Sales and Marketing Manager Harriet Ganfield discussed additional itinerary options with buyers who gave extra attention to the TNQ products represented at ATE.

Asia Sales and Marketing Manager Sam Sakamoto negotiated with buyers from Japan and India to extend TNQ itineraries by an additional night as a condition of campaigns run by TTNQ next financial year.

He discussed the timing of campaigns along with the challenges and opportunities for the trade and was able to meet with the majority of TTNQ’s campaign partners from Japan, India and Singapore.

Sam also discussed joint and independent campaign activity and schedules for famils and trade events with TEQ’s international, teams from Japan, Korea, India and Singapore.

Marketing General Manager Lani Strathearn joined me for several meetings with airlines and key stakeholders including Qantas, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, Expedia, and the TA and TEQ international teams to plan global strategic partnerships for next year.

Media Consultant Liz Inglis had 21 one-on-one appointments with international media with very strong interest from New Zealand and India. She gave a destination update to TA’s North American PR teams. The networking events provided the opportunity to interact with media who had been in region and discuss story ideas to promote the destination.

Tropical North Queensland hosted a pre and post media famil, a luxury trade famil and two European trade famils.

ATE will return to Queensland next year with Brisbane announced as the 2025 host on 28 April to 1 May which will give our region the opportunity to better showcase our destination to the trade and media attending the event.


Mark Olsen
Chief Executive Officer