Sunday, July 31, 2016
Greenie moans about the Barrier Reef are putting tourists off -- NOT
As with the boy who cried wolf, most people probably discount the incessant Greenie moans
FAR North tourism operators are flat strap as cashed-up visitors take advantage of easy access to Tropical Queensland.
Data released by Cairns Airport this week shows about 43,000 passengers travelled through the international terminal last month, marking a 13.3 per cent rise from June last year.
Domestic passengers last month topped 335,600, about 14,400 more than the previous June.
According to the data, European passports used when clearing immigration at Cairns Airport have exceeded 68,600 over the past 12 months, a growth of 75 per cent.
A record number of international competitors also contested the 2016 Cairns Ironman in June.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland director of business and tourism events, Rosie Douglas, said the June growth continued to reflect the trends being experienced by the region’s industry.
"The addition of direct flights from Hong Kong and the Philippines has given greater access to the Asian and European markets, which also have been using the direct flights from Singapore," she said.
"This increase in aviation capacity from Asia was instrumental in Cairns winning the right to host the prestigious Ironman Asia-Pacific, the feature event of the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival during June.
"June also marks the start of the school holidays for the United Kingdom, Northern Europe and Australia, bringing stronger numbers from those markets."
Cairns Airport last month celebrated a milestone five million passengers for the year, with the total number now having reached about 5,011,000.
The influx of international and domestic visitors is being felt throughout the Far North.
Skyrail general manager Craig Pocock said the tourism heavyweight was experiencing "pre-global financial crisis" numbers.
"We’ve certainly seen strong growth across all markets," he said. "This season we’ve also been strong both before and after the school break, and now we’re benefiting from the Japanese holiday period.
"This is a bright and optimistic period we’re experiencing, and bookings indicate that it will continue for some time."
Mr Pocock said Skyrail was having to "ramp up" its operations to cater for the ongoing growth.
"We’ve had to increase resources, staffing and modify the way we operate to cater for the volume of visitors," he said.
Friday, July 1, 2016
Greenie scare fails
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef named the best place in the world to visit. Throughout the bleaching scare, touriswm operators have never had any difficulty taking people to unspoiled areas of the reef
IN a much-needed boost for the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living organism has been voted the best place in the world to visit by an influential US travel site.
US News and World Report’s World’s Best Places to Visit for 2016-17 ranked the Reef No.1 ahead of Paris and Bora Bora in French Polynesia. Sydney also made the list — at 13th.
The site described the Reef as “holding a spot on every travellers’ bucket list”.
“The Great Barrier Reef is a treasure trove of once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said the description. “Whether you’re gazing at marine life through a scuba mask, letting the tropical breeze unfurl your sail, or in a plane gliding high above it all, the possibilities for exploration are nearly limitless.”
It comes after a series of sinister reports about the Reef’s future following a major coral bleaching event found to have affected extensive areas.
Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington said the Reef’s first placing on the list, was a vote of confidence in its worldwide tourism appeal.
“The Great Barrier Reef is a living treasure and a major tourism drawcard for visitors to Queensland,” Ms Coddington said. “It is an unrivalled experience that tens of thousands of people are enjoying every day.”
Other destinations to make the top ten included Florence in Italy; Tokyo, Japan; the archealogocial capital of the Americas — Cusco in Peru; London, Rome, New York and Maui.
Cape Town in South Africa and Barcelona in Spain finished ahead of Sydney, the only other Australian location on the list.
“Expert opinions, user votes and current trends” were used to compile this list.
Last year London was No.1, Bora Bora No.2 and Barcelona third — while Sydney was placed fifth.
Ms Coddington said this year’s result reaffirmed just how important the Reef was to Australia’s tourism economy. “It’s ours to protect and share,” she said. “Experiences like the Great Barrier Reef help inspire visitors to experience Queensland, the best address on earth.”