Queensland tourism leaders are utilising this year’s Cruise Down Under Conference to showcase the destination’s cruising capabilities and entice cruise lines to home port in the regional city.

Running for three days from 11-13 September, the event has attracted over 150 cruise specialists from around the world.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) chief executive Rob Gaison said attracting more cruise lines would bring an enormous flow-on effect for Cairns’ economy.

He said: “”We will promote our proximity to Asia and the sheer variety of exceptional attractions we offer as the delegates meet in the heart of the city and enjoy functions highlighting the spectacular Cairns waterfront.”

“They will experience the natural beauty of our two World Heritage areas and some of the more than 600 tours which depart daily to the reef, rainforest, beaches and outback.”

According to Mr Gaison, four cruise ships made their maiden voyage into Cairns this year and next year 104 ships are scheduled to visit the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef region.

“This industry is all about positioning yourself for new markets to accelerate visitor growth, just as the tourism industry pioneered the China market and 30 years later we are reaping the rewards.”