Great Barrier Reef tourist numbers

Visitation to the entire Great Barrier Reef Marine Park for the year ending December 2015 was approximately 2.43 million visitor days. This figure includes standalone coral viewing activities and scenic flights.

Graphing of the long-term trend of tourism in the Marine Park does not include standalone coral viewing activities and scenic flights as this data has only been collected in recent years. For the year ending December 2015, visitation to the Marine Park, not including these activities, was 2.1 million visitor days.

Visitation fluctuates depending on tourism trends, weather and even global factors. Information on the number of tourists visiting the Marine Park has been compiled from logbook data that tourism operators are required to provide when submitting their environmental management charge (EMC) returns.

To view graphs of visitor numbers for the entire Great Barrier Reef Marine Park or for each of the planning and management areas, please click on the links below:

Detailed monthly visitation data 

Information collected

For each commercial tourism vessel operating in the Marine Park, information is collected on:

  • number of visitors carried by the operator each day
  • locations visited.

The following categories of passengers are separately recorded:

  • full day EMC passengers who undertake a trip of three hours or more
  • part day EMC passengers who undertake a trip of less than three hours
  • passengers who are exempt from the EMC.

For further information concerning visitor numbers, please email our Tourism and Stewardship section.