Tourism Tropical North Queensland said it does not fear a downturn, after remarks by Leonardo DiCaprio that the reef is now “riddled with bleached coral reefs and massive dead zones”.
To the contrary, chief executive Alex de Waal said the comments about the environmental changes of the World Heritage site are welcome.
“Any discussions that go on about the focus of conserving the reef are absolutely consistent with what we do, and absolutely supportive, if you like, of building our profile in the global environment,” he said.
DiCaprio’s comments came as US President Barack Obama pledged millions of dollars towards ocean conservation at the “Our Ocean” conference in Washington.
Mr de Waal said that while environmental devastation had occurred in isolated parts of the reef, “to apply Mr DiCaprio’s perspective to the entire reef is not appropriate”.
“If the celebrity’s voice is the only voice that is heard out there, and is in isolation, then naturally that is of concern, but contrary to that there [are] obviously other perspectives that need to be heard and I think they will be heard loud and clear,” he said.