It was a truly interesting and entertaining presentation by Bernard Salt on the Future of Tourism in Cairns on Wednesday. Mr Salt is pre-eminently qualified as a futurist to speak on trends and the demographics of tourism in the far North.
In the context of the Mareeba Shire – it is important that we offer diversity and avoid a blanket approach to tourism and tourists; tourists travelling to Australia are well travelled, savvy and looking for real value and memory generating activities; and we need to capitalise on the
people who are travelling to Australia for an alternative purpose (ie to see their child graduate college) getting them to stop and enjoy the sunshine before flying straight home.
I felt excited at how well our Shire could promote many of our attractions to have broader appeal – our landscape is tailor-made for the eco-tourist and adventurer alike: our varied and dynamic landscape, rainforests, waterfalls, rivers, bush lands, savannah and globally
recognised caves will appeal to international and domestic tourist. Indigenous tours are continuing to expand and tours developed around our agricultural and associated industries (wines, distilleries and arts/culture), food festivals, etc have broad appeal. We need to attract the mums and dads who travel for academic and graduation ceremonies for their children; entice them to use Cairns and by association our shire as a “hop” in the travel route to south eastern capitals. I see benefit in lobbying Asian airlines to access Australia via the northern gateway as a way to increase our tourism numbers and will be doing my best to achieve this. Our Shire is perfect for family get-aways, a virtual wonderland, that can be explored in 3-7 days.
What’s your favourite unexplored area of our Shire?