Jun­gle tour best in Oz

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - RICHARD KOSER

SHEENA Wal­shaw’s feet have barely touched the ground since last Fri­day af­ter clean­ing up at the Os­cars of Aus­tralian tourism.

The man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Jun­gle Surf­ing Canopy Tours at Cape Tribu­la­tion said she was “over­whelmed” that the pop­u­lar tree-swing­ing tour had scored not just one, but two, Qantas Aus­tralian Tourism Awards.

Jun­gle Surf­ing took not only the ma­jor award of Tourist At­trac­tion, but also the hotly-con­tested Ad­ven­ture Tourism gong.

It was the first time Jun­gle Surf­ing had pulled off a win at the awards, the most pres­ti­gious in Aus­tralia.

“We’re so proud, and hum­bled,” Ms Wal­shaw said.

“We’re still a small fam­i­ly­owned com­pany.

“Steve would have been very proud of what we man­aged to achieve. He had an amaz­ing vi­sion for the com­pany and an un­shake­able be­lief in us all.”

Jun­gle Surf­ing founder Steve Walsh died in a car crash last May.

“Both awards have spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance for us,” Ms Wal­shaw said. “The Tourist At­trac­tion award ac­knowl­edges our con­tri­bu­tion to de­vel­op­ing the Dain­tree as a des­ti­na­tion, while the Ad­ven­ture Tourism award, well that’s where we started.

“Ad­ven­ture is at the heart of Jun­gle Surf­ing as we take our cus­tomers up into the canopy and lit­er­ally see them fly.”

Tourism in­dus­try lead­ers said the awards would re-fo­cus at­ten­tion on the Dain­tree at a crit­i­cal time.

“It’s fan­tas­tic, not just for Jun­gle Surf­ing but also for the re­gion,” Tourism Port Dou­glas Dain­tree ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Doug Ryan said.

“It shows the qual­ity of the prod­uct in the Dain­tree, and the suc­cess that can be achieved with a fun, ad­ven­tur­ous prod­uct.”

Ms Wal­shaw said she hoped Jun­gle Surf­ing’s suc­cess would help lift the pro­file of the Dain­tree as a des­ti­na­tion.

“I’m sure this will trans­late into more peo­ple com­ing north of the river,” she told the Gazette.

“Peo­ple don’t come to the Dain­tree to go spin­ning down a cable, they’re here to see the rain­for­est.

“We’re just a part of that ex­pe­ri­ence.

“All our staff live in and love the Dain­tree, and we’re pas­sion­ate about shar­ing it with the world in a fun and en­gag­ing way.

“Plus the busi­ness is im­por­tant to Cape Tribu­la­tion’s econ­omy, pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ment for 16 staff, and at­tract­ing over 85,000 vis­i­tors since open­ing.”

The Dain­tree Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre was also a fi­nal­ist in the Eco­tourism cat­e­gory.

Best in the busi­ness: the Jun­gle Surf­ing Canopy Tours crew

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