The Cairns Tourism Industry Association has commenced a membership drive and at the same time launched it’s marketing and promotional branding featuring Cairns as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

“This is a long overdue initiative and we hope that others will follow suit so as to provide clarity around a consistent and simple message focussed on destination marketing whilst recognising the wonderful natural assets available in the wider region” CTIA President Kevin Byrne said

“ We need to get on the front foot out there and re-establish the pre eminent position of Cairns as the legitimate international gateway to Northern Australia, two hours closer to source markets than our closest competitor, and we need to proud of, and relentless with our messaging. Every review done has consistently pointed to the marketing strength of linking the Cairns destination to the Great Barrier Reef and it remains a mystery as to why this has not been recognised by others for so long”

“ Cairns needs to rediscover it’s destination marketing mojo. We have wonderful natural assets to work with and recognise that our rich environment is the envy of many. After a twenty year hiatus we now have the addition of two additional CBD hotels by Crystalbrook as well as a complete refurbishment of another. These properties represent a substantial investment and it is hoped this new branding will have a positive impact for them”

“ The recent disappointing announcement that there will be a further drop in international capacity from China and Hong Kong to Cairns over the traditional busy Chinese New Year festive season is further evidence of the need for us to change gears with our marketing and promotional activities and messaging. It is frankly lamentable that we have appeared to have surrendered so meekly to the Brisbane and Gold Coast marketing influence . You can be assured that despite the aviation challenges often discussed in relation to Cairns, these challenges will not be replicated in Brisbane or the Gold Coast”

Kevin Byrne said that the CTIA has been working methodically to position itself as the Local Tourism Organisation (LTO) representing Cairns and the Northern Beaches and have kept people advised every step of the way.

“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” he said.

To listen to an interview with 4CA this morning click here.