Tourism Research

The Great Barrier Reef is Queensland’s greatest natural tourism advantage attracting more than 2 million visitors per year.

Tourism to the Great Barrier Reef is a major economic driver for all of the coastal communities along the reef. The tourism industry contributes $5.7 billion to the Australian economy and supports 59,000 full time jobs.

For the latest visitation data on the Great Barrier Reef visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's website for more information. 

Coastal and Aquatics


Tourism Australia – Coastal & Aquatics

Tourism Australia’s latest consumer research conducted across 11 of Australia’s key tourism markets shows that aquatic and coastal experiences are amongst the greatest drivers of international visitor demand, specifically to Australia. From early 2016, Tourism Australia's 'There’s nothing like Australia' campaign will put the spotlight on one of Australia’s key competitive advantages – our aquatic and coastal offering.



The Social and Economic Long Term Monitoring Program (SELTMP) – Tourism in the Great Barrier Reef (2013)

The long-term social and economic monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef helps reef managers to understand the current status, historical trends and possible future trajectories of marine park users, industries and communities. In 2013, a survey of more than 8,300 people (commercial fishers, tourism operators, tourists, coastal residents and national residents) was conducted about their dependence, usage and affinity with the reef, as well as their perceptions, values, experiences, attitudes, behaviours and norms.

Deloitte GBR Asset Report Cover Image 2017


Deloitte Access Economics – At What Price? The economic, social and icon value of the Great Barrier Reef (2017)

Deloitte Access Economics was engaged by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to analyse the economic contribution and, for the first time, the total asset value of the Great Barrier Reef. 


Reef 2050


Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan (2015)

The Reef 2050 Plan is the overarching framework for protecting and managing the Great Barrier Reef from 2015 to 2050. The plan is a key component of the Australian Government’s response to the recommendations of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

Reef Science

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Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)

For 40 years, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has managed the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the World Heritage Area so it is protected for the future. GBRMPA uses the best available scientific information to guide, and engage with experts and the community. This includes four Reef Advisory Committees and 12 Local Marine Advisory Committees.

Out on the water, field management and enforcement of zoning rules is carried out with Queensland and Australian Government agencies on GBRMPA’s behalf. GBRMPA provides a number of other services to protect and manage the Reef ranging from issuing permits, providing advice on marine management, and operating our education centre Reef HQ Aquarium in Townsville North Queensland.
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Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)

The Australian Institute of Marine Science is Australia’s premiere tropical marine research agency.

They play a pivotal role in providing large-scale, long-term and world-class research that helps governments, industry and the wider community to make informed decisions about the management of Australia’s marine estate.

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Great Barrier Reef Foundation

The primary role of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation is to fund vital research to protect and preserve the Great Barrier Reef. Working closely with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, they fund priority projects that help protect and restore the Great Barrier Reef and build its resilience in the face of major threats, The Foundation focuses on supporting science with impact, and lead the collaboration of business, science, government and philanthropy – groups who would not otherwise come together – for the benefit of the Reef. 

Current projects include:

  • Sea-quence: a world-first project to unlock the genetic secrets of corals in the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea.
  • Raine Island Recovery Project: Restoring the world's largest green turtle rookery
  • Leading the search for 'super' coral: Convening a consortium of global experts in coral reef, medical and terrestrial genomics and reef management, ReFuGe 2020
For more information visit: