Cairns Tourism Industry Association


Cairns, Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

The Cairns Tourism Industry Association Inc is a member driven organisation of individuals , businesses and like associations within the geographic boundaries of the Cairns Regional Council who are united behind the common desire to see Cairns become the international gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Northern Australia and to grow and develop Cairns most important industry. As the Local Tourism Organisation (LTO) for the region encompassing the Cairns Regional Council area, we are committed to representing and assisting our members to grow the industry opportunities to contribute to the overall growth in tourism industry development, employment, population growth and general economic development opportunities. We have wonderful natural assets to work with and recognise that our rich environment is the envy of many.

Clearly Articulated Purpose

We understand that to be successful we need to have a clearly articulated purpose and hence we have these defined activities that will drive our growth and development. These defined activities are:

  • To market and promote the brand “Cairns, Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef”;
  • To promote and engage in policy discussions for the membership with all levels of governments;
  • To provide an enhanced emphasis on the destination brand marketing of Cairns;
  • To provide apolitical advocacy to position Cairns as the tourism gateway to North Australia;
  • To cooperate with like organisations in the enhancement of activities that contribute to the growth of the TNQ regional economies;
  • To represent the membership at meetings, forums, symposiums, marketing and promotional activities and trade events as agreed by the Executive from time to time; and
  • To proactively counter negative perceptions of the destination of Cairns and in particular, the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef and the North Queensland tropical rainforests.

Promoting Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef!

What Will We Do

We are committed to changing the discussion around what is important in growing and developing our industry. In addition to being fierce and active advocates for the biggest, most valuable and currently our most challenged industry in the city and region, much of our activities will be absorbed in representing our member interests around various policy settings to governments to include international airline access to Northern Australia, the implementation of a visitor contribution levy by the Cairns Regional Council, immigration and visa issues, industry investment incentives, regional taxation arrangements and incentives and infrastructure issues that impact on industry development such as reasonable access charges to airport and marine port infrastructure. As our visitation figures reveal, it is time to reset the agenda and to challenge the status quo in a positive way.


The State Government generally manages it’s funding commitments for tourism development and events through the thirteen established Regional Tourism Organisations (RTO) throughout Queensland. Tourism Tropical North Queensland, as the name suggests, is the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) for an area stretching from Mission Beach west to the Gulf of Carpentaria and north to the Papua New Guinea border. Their activities in practice are designed around regional tourism growth and development, product diversification, marketing collaboration, major regional events support, training programmes, industry liaison and other activities as directed by the Board. Currently there are four Local Tourism Organisations (LTOs) in the Tropical North Queensland region. They are:

Each is recognised by TTNQ, enjoys member status and they work collaboratively together. Curiously Cairns is not represented on the list, so it is the intention of the Cairns Tourism Industry Association to be recognised as the RTO and become a member of TTNQ.

For some considerable time there has been an erosion of the influence of the legitimate interests of Cairns based businesses in the tourism industry in Far North Queensland. Whilst TTNQ prides itself as a regional member based organisation, in truth, the vast bulk of membership monies for their operations is provided by the Cairns based members who contribute 76% or $455K . Additionally the Cairns Regional Council, being the largest single contributor provides, by separate agreement, additional funding of some $2.4M annually as well as additional one off support .

You can see a full breakdown here at: https://tourism.tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au/what-we-do/ltos/

Latest News

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