Reef tourism first yearly report: November 2006 - October 2007. Quarterly patterns of reef tourism on the Great Barrier Reef - Northern, Central and Whitsundays Areas


This annual report forms part of a series of reports presented by James Cook University on reef tourism in the Great Barrier Reef. It is part of a research program being conducted under the Australian Government’s Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF). The research described here falls under MTSRF’s research program to identify sustainable use and management of marine resources of the Great Barrier Reef and specifically the analysis of tourism use and impact on the Great Barrier Reef for managing sustainable tourism.

This component of the research identifies annual visitor usage patterns of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) to enable the identification of key trends and drivers of visitor patterns. The data presented in this report summarise the results of surveys collected between November 2006 and October 2007, as well as reviewing quarterly results in keeping with this project’s tourism barometers (available from publications/index.html), which are produced on a quarterly and regional basis.

The principle methodology for this research is visitor surveys distributed by participating marine tourism operators. Crew from these operators distribute and collect the surveys at four locations across the Great Barrier Reef (Port Douglas, Cairns, Townsville and Airlie Beach). Results are available in an aggregate form as well as regionally, as presented here. Currently, ten operators across the four locations are involved in this research, representing an array of operator types, sizes, activities, length of trip and markets.

The findings of this report are divided in to three sections:

  1. Respondents’ socio-demographic characteristics
  2. Respondents’ travel behaviour
  3. Respondents’ reef experience and satisfaction