Southern Great Barrier Reef Tourism Trade Missions

The Southern Great Barrier Reef (SGBR) has been on the world stage with the tourism industry attending a number of trade missions to grow destination awareness and visitation in key international target markets.

The SGBR partnership spans the Capricorn, Gladstone and Bundaberg regions, with representative from the Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) and industry traveling to the UK, Germany, France, New Zealand, Sydney and Melbourne to promote the destination across the globe, meeting with travel buyers, media and retail staff to educate and explore international business opportunities.

In December, the SGBR participated in Tourism and Events Queensland’s (TEQ) “Queensland is Calling” roadshow to UK and Europe, in which 6 events were delivered across 5 days meeting more than 60 key product managers and 90 agents from the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden and UK.

In February, the SGBR participated in a destination-specific webinar with Swiss travel agent, Travelhouse, part of the Hotelplan Group, the largest travel organisation in Switzerland with a network of 82 travel agencies and around 500 independent agencies throughout Switzerland, with a wide customer base from backpackers to luxury travellers. Eight (8) of their wholesale agents were able to attend, who will distribute the recording to their retail agents. The SGBR is already included in one Travelhouse itinerary, and the webinar presents the opportunity to develop travel agents’ knowledge and understanding of the destination. 

Also in February, the SGBR hopped across the Tasman to meet with our New Zealand neighbours, as part of TEQ’s “Queensland is Calling” NZ Roadshow, meeting with 40 product managers, over 60 retail travel agents and 30 media agents. With 44 operators and RTO representatives, this is Queensland’s largest-ever delegation to a roadshow in New Zealand.  As SGBR and Queensland’s largest international inbound market, making up 23% of total international visitation to Queensland and predicted to nearly double, events like this are an incredibly valuable chance to build relationships, create opportunities and increase destination awareness within such a key market.

The next trade mission will be the region’s attendance at the Queensland Showcase 2024 in Sydney this week.  The event, presented by the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) and TEQ will see 22 SGBR operators and RTO representatives meeting with almost 40 tourism buyers across workshops, meetings and networking events.

The highlight of the trade calendar is always Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), being held in 2024 in Melbourne in May. The event is the largest business to business trade event in the Southern hemisphere and almost 20 SGBR operators and RTO representatives will attend to build awareness in the destination’s offerings and driving conversion for future holidays for domestic and international travellers.  

The missions have been supported by in-region development programs that ensure the region’s product and visitor experiences are ready for international tourism distribution.

The SGBR has worked hard for more than a decade to build awareness of our unique destination, and with international travel recovering with strength, our industry is excited to work collaboratively on this long-term international marketing effort for the region.

We are encouraged by the enthusiasm from our long-term tourism trade partners as well as our new contacts in key markets globally – travel intenders are looking for new destinations to explore, locations that offer experiences and opportunities to unwind, explore, learn and immerse themselves in.

The SGBR’s pristine reef, uncrowded experiences and sustainable tourism offerings are gaining significant attention with travel intenders who are looking for new destinations that offer adventure and safety in equal measures

Tourism is a major employer, a vital regional industry, and a high-value export earner. The SGBR has undertaken these missions thanks to funding from Austrade’s Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program, a fund that supports Australian businesses to grow their exports in international markets. These grants encourage small to medium enterprises to market and promote their goods and services globally.

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