XMAS TOP TEN
Port Douglas ranked No.6 Aussie tourist hotspot for festive season
THERE should be plenty of Christmas cheer for businesses this festive season with a leading online accommodation booking agency rating Port Douglas as a holiday hotspot.
The Hotelclub index rated Port Douglas as the sixth most popular Australian destination over the busy Christmas season, up seven spots from last year and ahead of Cairns for the first time.
Only Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane proved more popular, although the average daily room rate dropped 19 per cent from $175 to $147.
Local resorts and hotels appear to support this positive outlook, with the Sheraton Mirage Resort virtually 100 per cent booked from December 24 until January 4.
The Sheraton’s online and leisure sales executive Nichole Kanzlemar, said they did not have to discount their rates during Christmas.
“But within 28 days after Christmas we will be presenting overseas and domestic tourists with a much cheaper rate,” she said.
The Rendezvous Reef Resort also has solid bookings over Christmas, with the added bonus of the production crew from Reef Doctors staying at the resort until December 16.
“We will be busy from December 23 until Jan 10,” general manager Scott Wilkinson said.
At the Reef Club Resort, manager Daniel Keech said that they were having “little bursts” of bookings for the Christmas period.
“This year we decided to cut our rates as well as run a number of promotional activities and to provide a number of different last minute vouchers,” he said.
“So, we are not breaking any records but it is certainly a lot better at this time of year than it was for us last year.”
Shantara Resort is also gearing up for a busy Christmas.
Manager Marianna Bonomi said Christmas Day bookings are up to 60 per cent of capacity already.
“Then on Boxing Day and up until January 7 we will be 80 percent full, so it’s definitely shaping up to be a better year than last year,” she said.
Silky Oaks director Barbara Van Min said they were enjoying a 60 percent occupancy rate at the moment but that could grow as they always get a number of late bookings.
“We’re very pleased with the number of people who have chosen to stay with us over Christmas,” she said.
“We will also be having a traditional buffet lunch as well a seafood buffet lunch and the public are welcome to come and join us and also be entertained by our instrumental guitarist.”