Friday, July 01, 2016
Greenie scare fails
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef named the best place in the world to visit. Throughout the bleaching scare, tourism operators have never had any difficulty taking people to unspoiled areas of the reef
IN a much-needed boost for the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living organism has been voted the best place in the world to visit by an influential US travel site.
US News and World Report’s World’s Best Places to Visit for 2016-17 ranked the Reef No.1 ahead of Paris and Bora Bora in French Polynesia. Sydney also made the list — at 13th.
The site described the Reef as “holding a spot on every travellers’ bucket list”.
“The Great Barrier Reef is a treasure trove of once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said the description. “Whether you’re gazing at marine life through a scuba mask, letting the tropical breeze unfurl your sail, or in a plane gliding high above it all, the possibilities for exploration are nearly limitless.”
It comes after a series of sinister reports about the Reef’s future following a major coral bleaching event found to have affected extensive areas.
Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington said the Reef’s first placing on the list, was a vote of confidence in its worldwide tourism appeal.
“The Great Barrier Reef is a living treasure and a major tourism drawcard for visitors to Queensland,” Ms Coddington said. “It is an unrivalled experience that tens of thousands of people are enjoying every day.”
Other destinations to make the top ten included Florence in Italy; Tokyo, Japan; the archealogocial capital of the Americas — Cusco in Peru; London, Rome, New York and Maui.
Cape Town in South Africa and Barcelona in Spain finished ahead of Sydney, the only other Australian location on the list.
“Expert opinions, user votes and current trends” were used to compile this list.
Last year London was No.1, Bora Bora No.2 and Barcelona third — while Sydney was placed fifth.
Ms Coddington said this year’s result reaffirmed just how important the Reef was to Australia’s tourism economy. “It’s ours to protect and share,” she said. “Experiences like the Great Barrier Reef help inspire visitors to experience Queensland, the best address on earth.”
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).