Shin­ing lights in re­gional tourism

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

DAIN­TREE tour op­er­a­tor Neville “Un­cle Nev” Pren­tice and Jenny Edmondson from Lady Dou­glas tours were fi­nal­ists in the pres­ti­gious Cairns Re­gional Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion’s Ex­cel­lence in Cus­tomer Ser­vice Awards this week.

“Un­cle Nev”, who works for Dain­tree Dis­cov­ery Tours, earned his nick­name af­ter work­ing in the tourism in­dus­try for the past 30 years and mak­ing his tours feel like a fam­ily day out.

“It re­ally is a fab­u­lous in­dus­try to be in and then deal­ing with peo­ple who are on hol­i­days makes it even bet­ter,” he said.

Both Ms Edmondson and Mr Pren­tice re­cently won the monthly award for their ser­vice to the tourism in­dus­try.

Mr Pren­tice was

nom­i­nated mostly by Amer­i­can tourists who were im­pressed by his knowl­edge and friendly man­ner.

“I don’t go out there look­ing for awards, my fo­cus is to give peo­ple the best ex­pe­ri­ence pos­si­ble when they come and visit our re­gion - be­ing voted for this award is just a bonus,” he said.

Ms Edmondson and her hus­band own and oper­ate the Lady Dou­glas pad­dle steamer sun­set tours from Dixon’s In­let, in Port Dou­glas.

“We have tourists come from all over the world to take part in our leisurely boat rides,” Ms Edmondson said.

“The tour only trav­els five to six kilo­me­tres up the river at sun­set, but ev­ery­one just loves this time of day be­cause of the amaz­ing amount of birdlife that is fly­ing around and get­ting ready to roost for the night.”

The Lady Dou­glas can carry 53 peo­ple com­fort­ably but smaller groups are pre­ferred as more at­ten­tion can be given to the guests Ms Edmondson said.

“With smaller groups some­times peo­ple just want to sit back and en­joy the ride as they glide along with­out us giv­ing a run­ning commentary and to en­joy spot­ting the wildlife,” she said.

“A mar­vel­lous sight re­cently has been a pair of white-bel­lied sea ea­gles who have hatched a sin­gle chick, along with hundreds of other bird species, and of course croc­o­diles, dugongs, tur­tles, dol­phins and very re­cently a hump­back whale.”

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