Whitsundays in Queensland
TOURISM Australia has identified fishing as a new hook to reel tourists into the country, running the latest initiative in tandem with its ongoing aquatic and coastal tourism campaign.
Speaking at a media conference, Tourism Australia’s managing director John O’Sullivan said 315,000 international tourists, representing five per cent of all international arrivals, visited the country last year for fishing activities.
“This fits very nicely with our focus on creating experiences. It is very diverse and it is not just about beach fishing, but about visiting inland waterways and fly fishing,” he said.
Karen Brooks, operator of Driftwater, which offers guided fly fishing in Northern Tasmania, said Australia has “impressive fisheries” that the world needs to know more of.
With foreign visitors making up 30 per cent of her business, Brooks sees potential in growing the international market, especially with interest coming from younger tourists.
“It used to be just the older ones in their 50s and 60s who have more free time andl want to fish, but we see even younger ones in their 20s wanting to try a new sport and experience,” she said. For many, she added, it is also about visiting a destination that they have never been to before.
Top fishing spots Tourism Australia has identified under this Great Fishing of Australia campaign include Whitsundays in Queensland, Huan River in Tasmania and Coral Bay in Western Australia.