PORT Douglas and the Daintree region is experiencing its best season for many years and it’s not only the great number of tourists that are visiting our great destination. The weather has been perfect, the visibility at the reef incredible, ( the whales even stayed longer) and new product is popping up everywhere. Three new reef boats are rumoured to be coming to town with Bubbles, the new Calypso boat, being first here, followed by the new Reef Sprinter boat. New restaurants are opening such as a sushi train style Japanese, a proposed oyster bar, at the newly located 2 Fish restaurant along with, fish and chips and pizza takeaways.
Latest statistics from TRA show Port Douglas region is performing better than Cairns, Tropical North Queensland and Queensland as a whole.
For the year to June 30 2013 Port Douglas showed growth in nearly all traditional markets. Specifically in the domestic market with a 23.8 per cent increase of visitors generating 1.752 million room nights and our international markets with a 7.7 per cent increase producing 590,000 room nights, a 49 per cent increase on last year. For the first time our visitor nights for the year have exceeded 2 million.
This trend should certainly drive into next year if the past three months are an indication.
Events are part of the Port Douglas lifestyle, so if fitness is your thing, then the Canegrowers Great Barrier Reef Marathon is in early November, but if you’re like me, then Sunset in the Park, listening to live bands, sipping on a cold drink, while watching the sunset over the Daintree, might fit the bill.
Our Sunday markets continue to be popular, but the new kid on the block, Wednesday afternoon and evening markets at the marina are proving a big hit. Interest in the top end of the market continues to grow with new accommodation and tour options offering the best the region has to offer at fivestar levels. I attended the Cruise Down Under conference in Cairns last week, a market that last year had a direct economic impact to Port Douglas of $4.8 million. This puts us in the top 10 cruise destinations in Australia. With a projected 34 cruise liners visiting Port Douglas this financial year, the cruise market is the fastest growing market into Port. The Drive North Qld strategy is moving ahead with the consolidation of drive websites into one. ATDW is the link into the journeys and our own Great Barrier Reef Drive is featured on Queensland Holidays. A photo of which is the hero shot for Drive North. The AGM is coming up quickly, so I look forward to catching up with many of you at the Pullman Sea Temple, on October 17.