Australia’s top travel writers are converging on Tropical North Queensland this week to tour the region and hold their annual conference.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said TTNQ had won the bid to host the 2019 Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) Convention in Cairns. More than 150 delegates are checking in to the Crystalbrook Collection’s Riley on Friday (October 18) for the two-day program.
“Hosting the ASTW Convention has given our destination the opportunity to showcase our reef, rainforest and Indigenous culture, with an educational program taking the writers and digital influencers throughout the region,” he said.
“The 11 itineraries are designed to take the media deeper into the Tropical North Queensland lifestyle to discover what makes our region a must-do Australian experience.
For example, the Lava and Liquid tour travels to Josephine Falls, Paronella Park and Mission Beach before visiting more waterfalls on the way to the Undara Lava Tubes and returning to the Atherton Tablelands to explore the crater lakes.
“The Great Barrier Reef and its islands, Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation, Cooktown, Palm Cove and Laura are among the places the writers will travel to. Activities include mountain biking, hot air ballooning, diving, cooking classes, white water rafting, scenic flights and Indigenous experiences.”
In addition to this program, many of the writers are travelling on their own personalised itineraries, gathering stories for the likes of Australian Gourmet Traveller and Escape magazines.
ASTW President Helen Hayes said she was delighted to have the group’s AGM and Convention in Cairns for only the second time, with the first occasion in 1988. “We have had a massive response from our members who are keen to reconnect with Tropical North Queensland and will travel far and wide to discover its many delights,” she said.
Mr Olsen said delegates had been arriving over the past few days. “We anticipate we will see images and chatter on social media as they #exploreTNQ,” he said.
“Stories will be published over the next year with up to two years’ worth of publicity expected for the region. This publicity will help promote Tropical North Queensland as a holiday destination to the domestic market through a broad range of online and traditional media.
“Some of the writers also have been commissioned to write articles for international publications including The Telegraph in the United Kingdom and SilkAir’s magazine Silkwinds, giving the region additional publicity in those markets.”