Holidaymakers are flocking to the Port Douglas and Daintree region for Easter and the school holidays with some operators experiencing no lull between Chinese New Year and Easter.
Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree (TPDD) executive officer Tara Bennett said visitor numbers to the Douglas region had cracked 2.3 million room nights in 2015, a 26 per cent increase on the previous year.
“We enjoyed a great 2015 and this good news looks set to continue in 2016 as the first quarter has provided consistently higher visitation and forward bookings for winter are strong.
“This coupled with investment in tourism infrastructure such as the refurbishment of the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas and Daintree EcoLodge, construction of the Hemingway’s Brewery and new products coming on line at Wildlife Habitat should see the region break records for 2016.”
Quicksilver Group Director of Sales and Marketing Michael Healey said forward bookings across Quicksilver’s Great Barrier Reef products were very strong and up on last year.
“We are seeing an increase in domestic visitors as well as those from the United Kingdom and Europe where we are getting very good German numbers, and even the Japanese market has been terrific,” he said.
“Quicksilver’s loadings have been consistent this quarter and we have not experienced the shoulder period which is traditionally associated with the completion of Chinese New Year.”
QT Resort Port Douglas PR & Events Co-ordinator Sharon Timms said the resort was bursting at the seams until the end of the school holidays.
“Like many of the local operators we are finding the lull is so much shorter between Chinese New Year and the Easter period,” she said.
“QT has a strong Easter focus on families with an Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday and we are bringing back the popular QT Kids Club hosted by children’s entertainer Kel Whacky Wonders for guests and locals.”
Brett’s Half Day Kuranda Tour Owner Andrea Gibson said forward bookings were strong ahead of people arriving in Port Douglas.
“We are one of the small tour companies so that is a good sign of how busy the holidays will be,” she said.
Ms Bennett said Port Douglas and Daintree was a popular destination with families during the school holiday periods as there were so many activities suited to this market.
“Get into the chocolate spirit at Sweet Farm Tours for a farm tour followed by chocolate tasting, see the baby mahogany glider at Wildlife Habitat and catch the Balleyhooley steam train on a Sunday,” she said.
“The weather is looking sensational for the Great Barrier Reef at Easter so we anticipate our reef products from outer reef cruises to stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking will be in demand these holidays.”