Tropical North Queensland

Featuring two World Heritage-listed icons – the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest - Tropical North Queensland offers a diverse range of experiences.

The region stretches from Mission Beach/Tully in the south to Cape York and the Torres Strait in the north and out to the Gulf Savannah in the West. It includes Cairns, with its international airport, Kuranda, the resort islands of the Great Barrier Reef from Dunk to Lizard, as well as the Wet Tropics.

International visitation to Tropical North Queensland increased 7.2% to 890 000 visitors in the year ending March 2017, generating $1 billion in expenditure. International holiday visitors increased 6.6%, which contributed to Tropical North Queensland being the most popular destination in the State for international holiday travellers.

China continues to be the region’s largest source market. Tropical North Queensland also welcomed over 1.8 million domestic visitors in the 12 months to March 2017 and $1.9 billion in domestic expenditure.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) is the regional tourism organisation and reported the following key highlights and initiatives for 2016-17.

  • Hainan Airlines announced it would fly twice a week between Shenzhen and Cairns from December 2017 with the capacity to bring 15,000 additional Chinese visitors to Tropical North Queensland each year. The flights were secured through the Queensland Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.
  • Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef will host up to 8,000 delegates for the Amway China Leadership Seminar in April 2019 injecting $50 million into the regional economy.
  • Significant capital investment is planned or underway in the region, including the Cairns Aquarium, Aspial Corporation's Nova Towers, the construction of one new hotel and two significant hotel upgrades by the GA Group; the Cairns Performing Arts Centre under construction adjacent to Munro Martin Parklands outdoor performance space, and the Reef Marina at Port Douglas is expanding with 44 additional berths, residences, dining and entertainment areas.
  • The Tropical North Queensland region is on track to achieve the 2020 visitor expenditure target of $4.2 billion.
  • Launch of the Indigenous brand "Timeless Experiences - Sharing our Reef and Rainforest Stories" at the Australian Tourism Exchange in May 2017.
  • Through the support of the Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) Northern Australia Tourism Initiative, TTNQ has developed a small business development and training programme designed to assist new and existing businesses to build their capability to better interact and service the 3 million tourists visiting the region every year.
  • China Southern Airlines announced direct flights from Guangzhou to Cairns from December 2017. Three flights per week will deliver more than 33,000 seats to the region and this service was secured under the Connecting with Asia fund.
  • Hong Kong Airlines operated regular scheduled services connecting Hong Kong with the Gold Coast and Cairns, secured by the Queensland Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.
  • Jin Air commenced direct seasonal flights from Seoul to Cairns from December 2016 to February 2017 which brought 6000 Korean visitors to the region, delivering a $9 million boost to the local economy. The service was secured through the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.
  • Domestic Mega Famil welcomed 57 Australian and New Zealand travel agents from April 27 to May 3 showcasing the diversity of TNQ with eight different itineraries travelling throughout the region.
  • The Ride Cairns website has been redeveloped in the lead-up to the 2017 UCI World Mountain Bike Championships and a new Business Events website has been launched to inspire meeting and incentive planners to bring their events to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.
  • The inaugural Board of the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef foundation was established.
  • TTNQ unveiled the Citizens Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef on the Cairns Esplanade in August 2017. The iconic public artwork is a symbol for Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, a social movement to engage the world in the future of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef team was awarded an Association of Australian Convention Bureaux Innovation Award and Business Development Executive Emma Perez won the 2016 Destination Marketing Association International prize for young leaders.
  • Confirmed business events increased by 100% for 2016-17 with 45 events secured culminating in a record of $15 million worth of business confirmed for the destination. The number inquiries have gone from 57 to 90, almost a 50% increase for business events.
  • The Event Prioritisation Strategy continues to provide a solid foundation for the leisure tourism event portfolio with 2017 seeing a number of international events for the destination including, the Great Barrier Reef Masters Games, 2017 UCI Mountain Bike Championships, and IRONMAN Asia-Pacific.

Tropical North Queensland’s Hero Experiences have been developed to deliver the regions long-term tourism vision and brand promise. The Hero Experience themes are:

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • The world's oldest tropical rainforest
  • Tropical lifestyle and culture
  • Adventures
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Visit the TEQ website for more information on Tropical North Queensland.