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  • Renee Cluff

    Email Renee Cluff

    TNQ tourism downturn leads to bounty of local deals

    As Tropical North tourism emerges from a dark wet season, locals are scooping up deals.

    In February, domestic passenger numbers through Cairns Airport were down 7.9% on the same period in 2018, while international arrivals were down 3.8%.

    To secure business, tourism companies are now looking closer to home, in a silver lining for locals.

    Marketing company Tourism Town has a focus on local deals and Lily Stacey from its Cairns office told Tropic Now the Easter period is a great time for people to become home town tourists.

    “There are a lot of great deals at the moment,” she said.

    “Tropical North Queenslanders are really spoilt because there are so many unique experiences available to us right here on our doorstep.”

    She said operators also benefit.

    “Apart from filling spots in the low season there are other benefits for the operator,” she said.

    “Locals generally share their experience on social media and locals are more likely to refer new business by word of mouth.”

    Generally, locals can save 25% off the regular price for tours and experiences ranging from reef trips to star gazing, massage and spa treatments to dining.

    However, some deals are up to 50% off.

    “Sometimes the operators offer family deals for where the children travel free plus a local discount on top of that,” Ms Stacey said.

    “If you can think of it, it’s probably there with a local offer attached.”


    Our top ten local deals:

    Spirit of Cairns
    This is a fantastic deal as you get 2 discounts. Kids go free + a local discount.

    More: Spirit of Cairns kids go free 

    Bad Fishy
    Bad Fishy are very proactive with locals rates and have a 20% off special just for the school holidays.

    More: Bad Fishy Easter deal

    Riley Resort

    Sleepover & buffet breakfast for two from $170 per night.


    More: Crystalbrook Collection Riley offer 

    Reef Quest
    Free intro dive + locals rate. This would usually cost $250 but if you are a local it’s just $135.

    More: Reef Quest Free Dive

    Cairns Colonial Club Resort
    Kids stay and eating for free, plus there’s a hot buffet breaky dining voucher for the adults.

    More: Cairns Colonial Club Easter special 

    Raging Thunder Fitzroy Island Ferry
    $50 for a returning adult is a saving of $34!

    More: Raging Thunder Fitzroy Ferry 

    Eleme Day Spa
    90 minute sea salt back scrub, massage and facial for $175.

    More: Eleme offer 

    Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
    Local kids go free this Easter.

    More: Tjapukai kids go free 

    Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa
    Half price on the dinner degustation menu.

    More: Spa Temple dinner deal 

    The Backyard
    $19 lunch special, includes a glass of wine.

    More: The Backyard lunch 

    If you're having trouble with the links, sign up at Tourism Town or go to their facebook page.