Past Media Releases

Attenborough effect inspires UK visitors to Reef

10 April 2016

The ‘Attenborough effect’ is inspiring more international visitors to travel to Queensland following the screening of David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef in the United Kingdom.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the first global screenings of David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef in December and January led to a substantial increase in demand and awareness from the UK.

“We have seen a major spike in bookings to the Great Barrier Reef since the series aired in the UK,” Ms Jones said.

“Tourism and Events Queensland has been tracking UK holiday interest since the airing, revealing significant spikes in website visitation and online searches.

“Trailfinders in the UK is reporting room night increases of 30 per cent while Lady Elliott Island has doubled the number of inquiries since the documentary went to air.

“Austravel has been flooded with inquiries for Lizard Island, Heron Island and Lady Elliott while Beacon Travel in the UK is offering similar feedback.”

Ms Jones said she expected a similar lift in bookings from Australian tourists following the airing of the Attenborough series on the ABC this Sunday night.

“Visiting the Great Barrier Reef is a truly unique experience and this documentary showcases this natural wonder in an authentic and compelling way,” she said.

“With tourism numbers reaching record highs over the Easter and summer holidays, this series is inspiring even more visitors.

“It is Australia’s turn now to see this amazing living treasure which is on their back door. As the cooler months approach its perfect timing for southerners to swap their jackets and scarves for a pair of swimmers and head north for the winter.”

Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington said agents in the UK were reporting significant uplift in inquiries from people wishing to travel to the reef following the Attenborough airing.

“This increase also coincides with an increased coastal and aquatic marketing focus in the UK, showing the diversity of experiences on offer for travellers who visit the Reef,” Ms Coddington said.

“From the tropical rainforest to the far north and stretching 2300kms to the Southern Great Barrier Reef there are thousands of different journeys for people to experience." 

UK travellers to Queensland increased 8.1 per cent in 2015 to 237,000. Holiday visitors make up 59 per cent of all UK arrivals to Queensland compared to the national average of 42 per cent.