Hay­den goes into bat

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

CRICKET le­gend Matthew Hay­den knocked back a cold beer and a chicken burger at the Court House Ho­tel dur­ing his Op­er­a­tion Sun­shine mis­sion to boost tourism in the re­gion last week.

Mr Hay­den was in In­dia when Cy­clone Yasi struck the Far North in Fe­bru­ary and felt this was a way he help could lure tourists back to the Dou­glas re­gion by spread­ing the mes­sage “Queens­land is open for busi­ness”.

The pas­sion­ate Queens­lan­der is trav­el­ling to all the re­gions af­fected by re­cent nat­u­ral dis­as­ters as part of his “Op­er­a­tion Sun­shine”.

“Queens­land has great lo­ca­tions and re­cre­ation ac­tiv­i­ties that are to be en­joyed, won­der­ful travel and des­ti­na­tion deals on of­fer, and in­spir­ing sto­ries to share with ev­ery­one,” he said.

Last Fri­day Mr Hay­den jumped on a Skysa­fari he­li­copter and took a tour of the Moss­man Gorge and the Great Bar­rier Reef and snorkelled with Reef Sprinter be­fore hav­ing a de­li­cious lunch at the Court House Ho­tel with the lo­cals.

“There is a per­cep­tion down south that busi­ness is closed and Queens­land is one big huge disas­ter zone,” he said.

“What I’ve tried to do is help these re­gions who have been af­fected by this by work­ing with tourism op­er­a­tors and busi­ness to show me what they have to of­fer so I can show ev­ery­one else that Queens­land is open for busi­ness.

“I think Port Dou­glas is one of the great­est gate­ways in North Queens­land be­cause there is so much you can do here.

“Whether it’s go­ing fish­ing, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the Dain­tree Rain­for­est or the Great Bar­rier Reef it is all here on of­fer.

“It only took us 15 min­utes to get to the reef, there are not too many places in the world where you can do that.”

Photo by SAM SMALLBONE

To the res­cue: Matthew Hay­den is do­ing his bit to re­vive the lo­cal tourism in­dus­try

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