L to R: Team Eden's Kesa Strieby, Shane Trimby, Amy Eden, Emma Gelling, Trevor Tim, Mark Olsen (TTNQ CEO), Jo Piggott

Team Eden committed to helping tourism thrive

A volunteer program aimed at making visitors feel welcome will make a long-overdue comeback, and achieving international recognition as a nature and culture-based tourist destination will be prioritised by a Team Eden-led Cairns Regional Council focused on supporting Cairns’ tourism industry to thrive.

According to Tourism Tropical North Queensland’s Domestic Visitor Economy data, 2.5 million Australian visitors spent around $4.2 billion in TNQ in the 12 months to September 2023.

“Tourism plays such a crucial role in our city’s economy,” Mayoral Candidate Amy Eden said. “With two spectacular World Heritage areas and rich cultural heritage, our region is unique.”

“While the natural attributes speak for themselves, they alone do not make a successful tourism sector. It’s as much about the people as it is about the attractions, and Cairns has so many wonderful people who are just as passionate as I am about our beautiful city.”

Team Eden has committed to re-establishing the Welcome Volunteers program, which was scrapped more than a decade ago by the Unity council.”

“Under the program, city ambassadors armed with a smile, tourist maps and a wealth of local knowledge greeted visitors as they stepped off cruise ships,” Ms Eden said. “As a visitor, having a friendly face offer you a warm and genuine welcome to their home city is priceless. This simple gesture can go a long way in determining a visitor’s experience of our city.”

Team Eden will prioritise a process to achieve Eco-Destination certification through Ecotourism Australia – an initiative supported by TTNQ.

“Our identity is built on the captivating beauty of our reef and rainforest,” Ms Eden said. “Our connection to nature, our rich first nations culture and our collective commitment to preserving what makes our city special makes Cairns an outstanding candidate for Eco-Destination certification.”

Certification provides international recognition for destinations that offer high-quality, sustainable, nature and culture-based attractions, supported by sustainable practices.

“Having a Council that has the same values and commitments as our many eco-certified tourism operators will only enhance our overall visitor experience and grow our tourism industry.”

Further initiatives to support the tourism sector include implementing an Events Attraction Fund and improved activation of the CBD, funded through revenue from the Reef Eye.

“Added activity through events, quality street performance supported by best-practice licencing and regulation, and extended hospitality and entertainment offerings will make the CBD more appealing, inviting, and safer for locals and visitors,” Ms Eden said.

“Most importantly, we’ll take meaningful steps to work more collaboratively with our tourism industry to support its objectives and enhance business opportunities.”

“We recognise that it’s the people whose livelihoods are intertwined with our tourism product who are best-equipped to lead the discussion – and we’re ready to listen.”

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