Cairns Tourism Statistics

Updated: 15 March 2020

2.86 million tourists and other visitors arrived in Cairns in 2018.1

  • This figure includes 790,000 international visitors, over 1 million domestic overnight visitors and 993,000 domestic day trip visitors.

Impact of Coronavirus Travel Ban

  • A travel ban implemented by the Australian government on the 1st of February 2020 for non-citizens travelling from or through China is expected to cause significant disruption for Chinese visitors to Cairns

Quotes and Media Statements

“There have been more than $10 million in direct bookings in the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region cancelled to date as a result of the coronavirus. (…) Tourism Tropical North Queensland members have seen more than 25,000 direct cancellations of experiences and accommodation.” Mark Olsen, Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO, 3 February 2020 2

How much money does Cairns make from tourism?

  • Tourists spent a total of $2.3 billion in Cairns in 2018.
  • Visitors spent an average of $803 per trip.
  • This equated to an average spend of $227 per night.
  • International tourists spent an average of $187 per night. 

Cairns camping & campervan statistics

  • The number of camping trips throughout Queensland has grown by 45.8% over the 10-year period from 2008 to 2018.3
  • In 2018 over 1.3 million overnight camping trips were made in Queensland.
  • Camping trips – including caravan, campervan, commercial and non-commercial camping – made up 13.9% of visitor nights for domestic travellers to Queensland in 2019 (year ending September)

Other resources


  1. TRA: Cairns Local Government area profile 2019
  2. Tourism Tropical North QLD: CEO Statement on Coronavirus impact
  3. TRA: International visitor Survey, Trends 2019, National Visitor Survey, Trends 2019