‘Un­cle Nev’ scoops ser­vice award

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - SAM SMALLBONE

ONE of the Dain­tree’s long­est-serv­ing tour op­er­a­tors has been re­warded for his ex­cel­lence in cus­tomer ser­vice.

Neville “Un­cle Nev” Pren­tice from Tony’s Trop­i­cal Tours has more than 30 years ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­try and scooped the Cairns Re­gional Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion’s Ex­cel­lence in Cus­tomer Ser­vice gong re­cently.

“Un­cle Nev” has earned his nick­name over the years for mak­ing his tours feel like a fam­ily day out.

“I just love be­ing around peo­ple, I love driv­ing and I have a strong pas­sion in the rain­for­est, the habi­tat it­self, Aus­tralian his­tory and in­dige­nous cul­ture,” he said.

“When peo­ple come for a tour, it is not just a one­time ex­pe­ri­ence. I have had peo­ple come back about 10 times want­ing to go on a tour with me.”

The in­spir­ing tour op­er­a­tor pro­vides vis­i­tors and lo­cals with an ad­ven­ture where they can have a first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of the rain­for­est and over­come any pho­bias they may have with an­i­mals and the out­doors.

“Dur­ing the tours I like to share my knowl­edge of the area and point out all the an­i­mals and in­sects such as cas­sowaries, kan­ga­roos and spi­ders,” he said.

“I have helped many peo­ple over­come their fears or pho­bias about some of the an­i­mals.

“I use to have a 14-foot python called Sammy to keep my sis­ters out of my room so I am very fa­mil­iar with an­i­mals and na­ture.”

Un­cle Nev has also been recog­nised for his abil­ity to in­ter­act with peo­ple from around the world and break the lan­guage bar­ri­ers.

“I don’t speak other lan­guages, you just learn cer­tain words from other peo­ple. I al­ways make sure that we all know each other’s name be­fore start­ing the tour so we can feel like a fam­ily,” he said.

He has also risked his own life to save two tourists caught in the rapids at the Moss­man Gorge.

Un­cle Nev will now be in the run­ning for the CRTA’s pres­ti­gious Kam­sler Award.

Kick back and re­lax: do busi­ness at ‘Thong Reef’

Part of the fam­ily: ‘Un­cle Nev’ Pren­tice

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