Cairns News Report – 8th February 2020

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Welcome to this weeks edition of my Cairns News Report, a complimentary ‘week in review’ of all the pertinent news stories on what’s happening in and around Cairns.

A few of the top news stories from last week included:

  • the impact of the coronavirus to tourism and retailers dominated the news last week;
  • mixed opinions aired around the proposed introduction of a tourism levy; and
  • campaigns commence to get people to holiday locally.

If you missed any of the top Cairns news stories from last week, here they all are in full below. Just click the title to read the full story.

If you ever have any comments or queries, or if I can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to connect with me. I’d love to hear from you!


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‘Holiday at Home’ Campaign Boost First Step for Area, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 03 Feb 2020

The state government has responded to calls for assistance for the Far North tourism industry as hundreds of Chinese tourists remain stranded and local businesses expect months of hardship from a ban on flights from mainland China.

Just Give Us A Break, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 03 Feb 2020

A travel ban has left Chinese visitors stranded in the Far North, while tourism businesses plead for government support to get them through the impact of the coronavirus crisis.The escalation in measures against the health threat means Hainan Airlines has cancelled its service to Cairns, leaving no way home for Chinese tourists spending the lunar new year in the region.

Cruise Spend Patchy, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 03 Feb 2020

Cruise ships will bring 10,000 visitors to Cairns this month, but the benefits will be patchy for the city’s small business operators.The Pacific Explorer docked at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal at 7am on Saturday morning to allow its 1998 passengers to explore the city before departing at 5pm. It is on a seven-day voyage from Gladstone to Dili in East Timor.

Instagram Generation A Key Focus, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 03 Feb 2020

To take advantage of a returning interest in domestic tourism, Far North tourism operators need to start luring the demographic that can show us at our best – the social media generation.With a diverse environment featuring tropical rainforests, outback hills, crystal blue reefs and unique wildlife, the Far North has a lot to offer for travelers on the road.

Range of Road Options, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 03 Feb 2020

Support is growing for alternative solutions to the Kuranda Range Rd, as the Department of Transport and Main Roads prepares to start construction on its $45 million Kennedy Hwy safety upgrade package.Kennedy MP Bob Katter has been pushing his proposal for a road connecting Cairns to the Tablelands via a bypass cutting through forestry area between Mareeba and Redlynch.

Relative Success of Visits Adds Up, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 03 Feb 2020

The economic impact of visits from friends and relatives is set to take on new importance throughout 2020 after one of the most disastrous starts to the year for tourism in Tropical North Queensland.One in five visitors to the region come to see friends and relatives – a $600m-a-year boost that supports thousands of jobs.

Hotel Boom Slowing Down, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 04 Feb 2020

A rush of multimillion-dollar hotel refurbishments spurred on by crystal brook collection’s competitive incursion could slow as the accommodation industry steels itself for a tough year ahead. However latest projections from consultant Dransfield’s Hotel futures 2019 report suggest more hotel construction is on the horizon with a 2.9 percent annual room growth rate predicted.

Job data Shows Boost in Activity, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 04 Feb 2020

The number of people searching for work or actively employed has reached a sevenyear high in Cairns, but the industries desperate for workers have not changed.The quarterly Conus/CBC Staff Selection jobs data for November showed the biggest employment gains over the past year were in healthcare (+3900), education (+3600) and construction (+2700).

Not all on Deck for Levy Scheme, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 04 Feb 2020

It is billed as one of the most critical economic decisions facing the Far North in a generation – but anyone trying to convince the hotel industry to support a bed-tax tourism levy will face an uphill battle.Cairns Regional Council Mayor Bob Manning has been pushing for a levy for years, and now Advance Cairns has joined the chorus ahead of its convoy to Brisbane next month.

Shark Drumlines to Return, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 04 Feb 2020

Shark nets and drumlines will be redeployed in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park after a spate of attacks, including a deadly mauling in the Whitsundays.It comes after the federal and state governments agreed on a plan to “ensure human safety is our overriding priority’’, with the $5 million program to be announced today and rolled out across the state’s north within two weeks.

FNQ’S $25M Virus Pains, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 04 Feb 2020

Tourism leaders forecast health scare to cost $6.25m a week. The stark reality of the corona virus and a ban on Chinese traveler’s has been costed at $25million a month by tourism industry bosses. Already the sector has lost $10 m as Chinese travel plans have been cancelled.

Film Centre in Frame, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 05 Feb 2020

A FILM director has called for a movie-making drop-in Centre to be established in Cairns to help grow the industry in the Far North.Screen Queensland is hosting a seminar in Cairns next Thursday to launch the State Government’s Far North Queensland Screen Production Strategic Plan.

Coronavirus Bites Hard, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 05 Feb 2020

Leading Great Barrier Reef tour operators are considering staff lay-offs and downscaling their operations in the wake of the global coronavirus epidemic.It comes as Tourism Tropical North Queensland’s chief executive Mark Olsen is expected to fly to Brisbane today for an emergency meeting with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Tourism Minister Kate Jones about helping the Far North survive the economic impact of the virus.

Igniting Indigenous Tourism Opportunity, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 05 Feb 2020

Major infrastructure investment is required if the State Government is serious about declaring 2020 the Year of Indigenous Tourism – and two clear opportunities await in the Far North.Cairns Regional Council’s push for a new $40 million gallery precinct focusing on indigenous art has so far failed to attract state or federal funding.

Showing the Best of Where Waterfalls, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 05 Feb 2020

A new where the water falls campaign will be executed over coming weeks to rouse domestic tourists in to journeying to the Far North. The growing concept of flight shame and carbon footprint awareness may be an obstacle for international tourism but it is no barrier to Australian tourists looking to see their own backyard.

Building a Bright Light for Regional Economy, Cairns Post e-Paper,The Cairns Post–06 Feb 2020

The Far North is the standout performer in the regions across the state for employment and future projects in the building industry.The positive news is a shot in the arm as the deadly coronavirus attacks the region’s economy.Master Builders Queensland deputy CEO Paul Bidwell predicted a surge in work by year’s end due to commercial projects.

Looking to Alternatives, Cairns Post e-Paper,The Cairns Post–06 Feb 2020

The long tendrils of the tourism industry touch almost every facet of the Cairns economy, from the cafes and retail businesses to less obvious industries like shipbuilding and even cleaning contractors.Even the most simplistic view – focusing on the likes of tour guides, chefs, bus drivers and hotel managers – shows at least 8 per cent of jobs in Cairns are directly reliant on tourism, according to new data from Future Tourism demographer Bernard Salt.

Disaster Relief Funding Push, Cairns Post e-Paper,The Cairns Post–06 Feb 2020

The devastation of coronavirus on the Far North has been likened by the Palaszczuk government to cyclones and floods, but unlike those natural disasters, there doesn’t appear to be any relief in sight.The virus’s economic impact on the state dominated Parliament yesterday, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk calling on every single member to get behind her government to get cost-sharing with the Federal Government.

‘Vibrant’ Hotel Set to Open, Cairns Post e-Paper,The Cairns Post–07 Feb 2020

Cairns’ newest hotel is now ready to take bookings.Crystal brook Collection’s $180 million hotel Flynn has started taking reservations ahead of its March 31 opening.Flynn is the group’s fifth hotel and its third newest in Cairns.Like Riley and Bailey, other hotels in the firm’s portfolio, an experience at Flynn will be marked by its commitment to sustainability.

Let’s Be Best on Ground, Cairns Post e-Paper,The Cairns Post–07 Feb 2020

The Far North is being urged to learn from rival leisure destinations Tasmania and New Zealand and focus on Fresh products instead of jus marketing and more flights. Tasmanian tourist chief Luke martin said the success of the Apple Isle’s big growth in overseas tourism was in products, as well as natural attractions.

Decline in Travel Likely to Hit Jobs, Cairns Post e-Paper,The Cairns Post–07 Feb 2020

The Cairns tourism sector could lose about 1800 jobs as coronavirus eats into the region’s economy.Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen said the number was a “worst case” projection as the peak Cairns tourism lobby group crunched grim numbers for the year ahead.

MegaTrend on Pause,Cairns Post e-Paper,The Cairns Post–08 Feb 2020

No other market comes close. The second placed (US) Americans add about half (113,000) as many tourists to the local economy.In the 1970s only a few hundred Chinese tourists visited Australia every year. Two decades of slow and steady growth meant we saw arrivals from China reach around 80,000 by the late 1990s.Around the new millennium economic growth in China sped up.

Levy Can Work for City, Cairns Post e-Paper,The Cairns Post–08 Feb 2020

A new visitor tax is emerging as a critical component to the Far North’s tourism success. Long-time advocate Mayor Bob Manning said a levy could raise $16 million per year to be spent on marketing. It would allow FNQ to chart its own successful course but who will pay is proving contentious.

Major Hotel Operator Backs Industry Levy,Cairns Post e-Paper,The Cairns Post–08 Feb 2020

Mayor Bob Manning said that would not happen, although there may be a little bit of balancing up.We’re not here to make money or be a council with bulging wallets, he said.But we are here to give business a chance.Governments would be very unwise if they were to try come through the back door.None of that money that’s going to be earned will come to us.

Challenge for Manning, Cairns Post e-Paper,The Cairns Post–08 Feb 2020

It would require no State Government intervention since Queensland-wide legislative changes would not be necessary.However, a new paper published by the council claims it would cost $219 per ratepayer if the $16 million required for tourism funding were recovered through rates – the equivalent of a 9 per cent increase in the median Cairns rates bill.

Hard Sell is a Motivator, Cairns Post e-Paper,The Cairns Post–08 Feb 2020

National brands Harris Scarfe, Bardot, Holy Sheet! and Rockman’s were among a host of outlets to close in the city during January.But through the challenges, both the operators at Cairns Central and Cairns Airport believe 2020 will be positive.Cairns Central Centre manager Christie-Lee Jackson said the “premier shopping destination” traded strongly yearon-year.

Region’s Top Sale in 2019 Tips $5m, Cairns Post e-Paper,The Cairns Post–08 Feb 2020

The results are in and the Far North’s stunning coastline has emerged as home to the most properties on the list of 2019’s top real estate sales.Port Douglas topped the list, compiled from realestate.The five-bedroom, five-bathroom home with a stunning, resort-style pool is built over three levels and has views over Dickson’s Inlet and to the mountains beyond.

It’s Time for Big, Bold Ideas to Drive Industry’s Growth, Cairns Post e-Paper,The Cairns Post–08 Feb 2020

Now, more than ever, is the time for big ideas and bold initiatives in Tropical North Queensland’s tourism industry.The crippling effects of the coronavirus are just the tip of asizeable iceberg that has been getting bigger for some time.Before the outbreak, the worldwide tourism industry was growing strongly, but Cairns had not been experiencing the same growth.



Cairns Mortgage Broker – Jason Thomson is a Mortgage Adviser and Finance Broker based in Cairns with clients all around Australia. Client reviews featured on his website prove that Jason is a trusted industry professional, facilitating great outcomes for his clients. Using his wealth of experience in financial services, he thrives on delivering superior service. Jason is very approachable and is always looking for new clients to help in the often confusing world of finance and property. Offering a no fee service, you’ve got nothing to lose by having an obligation free chat with Jason today.