Past Media Releases

Jean-Michel Cousteau encourages Americans to explore Queensland's Great Barrier Reef

16 June 2014

Explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau will front a new tourism marketing campaign encouraging North American families to follow in his footsteps and explore the Great Barrier Reef.

Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said that after last month’s Australian Tourism Exchange in Cairns, Queensland had secured an Australian exclusive opportunity to partner with Stella Travel Services and Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society.

“Queensland tourism is now going from strength to strength after years of Labor neglect and this is yet another great opportunity to grow the industry as we promised at the election,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Jean-Michel Cousteau, eldest son of Jacques Cousteau, is an explorer, environmentalist, educator and film producer who has explored the world’s oceans for more than five decades.

“Now, the partnership, in conjunction with Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Air New Zealand, will see a series of Jean-Michel Cousteau endorsed Queensland itineraries promoted via Stella Travel Services in the United States.”

Ms Stuckey said having Jean-Michel Cousteau endorse a range of special Queensland itineraries was a testament to Queensland’s sustainable tourism practices and a unique opportunity to profile the Great Barrier Reef and state’s holiday experiences.

“In addition, Jean-Michel will travel to Cairns later this month to explore the destination and meet with Queensland tourism operators,” she said.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal said the region had worked proactively to be the first destination profiled as part of the ‘Oceans Away Vacations’ series, that aligned with the Ocean Futures Society mission.

The Ocean Futures Society is a marine conservation and education organisation, founded by Jean-Michel in 1999, which fosters a conservation ethic, conducts research, and develops marine education programs.

Through the Ocean Futures Society, Jean-Michel serves as a diplomat for the environment reaching out to the public through a variety of media including an appearance on the Great Barrier Reef for the Finding Nemo DVD.

Jean-Michel Cousteau said he was looking forward to his time in Cairns in June and said the collaborative relationship would inspire tourists to feel empowered to learn about the natural and cultural beauty of Queensland.

“We have to continue to look for creative ways to join forces with tourism and conservation in turning the tide, making a difference, expanding our efforts and protecting the quality of life on our blue planet,” Mr Cousteau said.

Justine Cooper, Vice President, Marketing Stella Travel Services said Queensland was an aspirational destination for many travellers from the US and Canada.

“The Jean-Michel Cousteau Oceans Away Vacations will profile Queensland across Stella Travel Services’ brands which include Travel2, Qantas Vacations, Islands in the Sun, Travelscene and the extensive Virtuoso Travel Agent network,” Ms Cooper said.

“The itineraries feature scenic flights over the Great Barrier Reef, diving expeditions, as well as rainforest and cultural experiences and flights from the US to Queensland.

“The campaign, which includes publicity, print advertising, digital, trade and social media will keep Queensland top of mind amongst North Americans and deliver a real benefit for tourism operators.”

Ms Stuckey said the Government’s 20-year plan for tourism, Destination Success, outlined the need to position Queensland as a premier international destination by ensuring the brand emotionally connects with a global audience and maximises nature-based tourism opportunities.

“North America is an important international market for Queensland, with the state welcoming 205,000 visitors in the year to March 2014, who spent $375 million on their trips,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Our goal is to double annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020 and innovative partnerships such as this will assist in growing Queensland’s inbound visitor market.”

[ENDS] 16 June 2014

Media Contacts: 
Minister Stuckey’s office: 3719 7240 / 0439 291 268
Tourism and Events Queensland: 3535 5474