Tourist visits to the Cairns/Cooktown management area

The following graph shows visitation to the Cairns/Cooktown Management Area including full day visits, part day visits and visits by those who are exempt from paying the Environment Management Charge (EMC). Full day visits are the best gauge of the general trend of tourism in the Marine Park. The data is displayed by calendar years and does not include coral viewing activities or scenic Detailed visitation data is available from the Great Barrier Reef tourist numbers page.

Visitation by calendar year

EMC visitation Cairns Cooktown Management Area to 31 December 2016

Important information about this data

  1. The data represents visitors to the Great Barrier Reef who used commercial tourist operations.
  2. Data is updated quarterly following receipt of Environmental Management Charge returns from tourism operators.
  3. The count of visitor days to the Marine Park is calculated where passengers undertake a visit as follows:
    • Full day visits:
      • A day trip of more than three hours is recorded as a full day visit
      • Overnight trips are recorded as multiple full days, for example, a stay of two-days and one night is counted as two full day visits.
    • Part day visits:
      • Where the trip is less than three hours
      • The first day of a trip entering the Marine Park after 5 pm
      • The last day of a trip leaving the Marine Park before 6 am
    • Exempt visits are passengers who are not required to pay the Environmental Management Charge (EMC), for example:
      • Young children who are free-of-charge
      • Trade familiarisation passengers who are free-of-charge
      • Passengers for whom another operator has already paid EMC on that day
      • The fourth and subsequent days for passengers on extended charters.
  4. Recording part day visits began in the fourth quarter of 2001.  These figures were previously included with the full day visits.
  5. The recording of coral viewing activities (for example, glass bottom boat tours) commenced in July 2007. This data is not included in the graph (above).
  6. The recording of scenic flights commenced in October 2009. This data is not included in the graph (above).
  7. The data does not include transfer passengers (for example ferry passengers).
  8. The data presented has not been validated.