Tourism is a major industry along the Great Barrier Reef coastline and it contributes exponentially to both the Queensland and Australian economy.

Up to 2 million visits are made each year to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park by visitors using a tourism operation. These visitors usually pay an environmental management charge (EMC).

It is a way for visitors to contribute to keeping the Great Barrier Reef great for future generations to enjoy.

The EMC funds received by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) are vitally important in the day-to-day management of the Marine Park.

It is used to monitor, manage and improve the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef, with the money applied across all aspects of Marine Park management including:

  • education and research
  • ranger patrols
  • site planning
  • public moorings
  • reef protection markers
  • information signs and maps.

In 2020, the Australian Government announced a waiver of the EMC for the period 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2021.

The environment management charge visitation data supplied to GBRMPA by tourism operators provides important information for Marine Park management.

These statistics assist the agency and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services in developing management arrangements for sustainable use of the Marine Park.

*Information correct as of December 2020