CEO-Board Updates

November 2021 CEO Update

Congratulations to the winners and finalists at the Queensland Tourism Awards in Brisbane last week. It was inspiring to see 21 Tropical North Queensland products had made the enormous effort to enter the awards during one of the most challenging years our industry has faced.

The results for our region were:

Tour & Transport Operators – Sailaway
RACQ People’s Choice Award for Experience & Service – Paronella Park
The Marie Watson-Blake Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual – John Courtenay

5 Star Accommodation – The Reef House Boutique Hotel and Spa
4-4.5 Star Accommodation – Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort
The Richard Power Award for Tourism Marketing and Campaigns – TTNQ’s Summer in the Tropics Campaign
Cultural Tourism – Paronella Park
Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism – Rainforestation Nature Park
Steve Irwin Award for Eco Tourism – Small World Journeys

Adventure Tourism – Skypark Cairns
Caravan and Holiday Parks – Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut
Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism – Cape York Peninsula Lodge
The Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism – Sailaway

The awards come on the back of very positive support for the tourism industry in Tropical North Queensland in the 2021 Social Indicators study undertaken by Tourism and Events Queensland.

Tropical North Queensland residents overwhelmingly believe that tourism has a positive impact on their community with more than three-quarters (76%) agreeing that tourism has a positive impact compared with 41% in Queensland.

More than one-third (36%) agree that tourism has a positive impact on their personal quality of life compared with 14% in Queensland. More than 58% of respondents believed the region should attract more tourists and 66% were happy with continued growth.

The study showed Tropical North Queensland residents have a relatively high level of interaction with tourists. More than twice as many make friends with tourists than the average Queenslander and just 5% never come into contact with tourists.

One respondent said people were happy when tourism was thriving in the region while another said getting a chance to meet tourists by giving directions or suggesting where they should visit made the respondent feel part of the community.

It is fantastic that so many residents understand the value of tourism in their lives. Not only did tourism support one in five jobs before the pandemic, it also was responsible for infrastructure such as the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon and the Cairns Convention Centre which attracts major entertainers. Diverse restaurants and the growing brewery, distillery and small bar scene have also flourished on the back of tourism.

Tropical North Queensland’s tourism operators are very passionate about their product, the destination, and the industry, and it’s this passion that will help our industry rebuild as borders reopen and visitors return.


Mark Olsen
Chief Executive Officer