Port Dou­glas ranked No.6 Aussie tourist hotspot for fes­tive sea­son

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

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.”

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