Qld gem crowned king of Aussie tourist towns
Cairns has been named Australia's tourist town of the year.
In a welcome boost after a year where visitor numbers were decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, the northern capital will today be crowned Aussie town of the year after a nationwide search by travel giant Wotif.
Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley was runner-up with Apollo Bay in Victoria third.
Hervey Bay was Queensland's only other entry in the top 10, coming in at No.7.
Wotif managing director Daniel Finch said Cairns deserved the crown after the most challenging of years.
"Cairns is a standout destination. Not only is it the gateway to one of Australia's most treasured natural beauties - the Great Barrier Reef, but the city itself offers the ideal laid-back tropical lifestyle," he said.
"To think this humble city, which does so much for Australian tourism on an international scale, suffered a loss of more than $50 million a week during the height of COVID-19 is incomprehensible.
"It's time Aussies consider visiting this incredible part of Australia, that people from all over the world come to see."
Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen said the award would hopefully entice more Aussie travellers to head north for a holiday.
"The economic impact of closed borders has decimated our economy which relies on tourism," he said.
"Australians are desperate for a holiday and Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, with its wide-open spaces, low population and excellent nature-based experiences is the ideal destination.
The awards come as new Wotif research reveals that for the Aussies who managed to take a local holiday in 2020, the overwhelming majority (95%) agreed the trip either met or exceeded their expectations, with more than one in four travellers (26%) admitting they had forgotten how great a local trip can be.
Originally published as Qld gem crowned king of Aussie tourist towns