Reef tourism thriving despite recent bleaching events


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The private sector is backing their confidence in a thriving reef tourism sector in Port Douglas. IMAGE: Newsport.

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THE billion-dollar reef tourism sector is showing no signs of slowing down in Port Douglas despite two recent coral bleaching events.

Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree executive officer Tara Bennett said Port Douglas operations were only strengthening with the ‘diversification’ of reef options and products.

“Certainly in Port Douglas it is the mainstay of our economy and it is encouraging to see the private sector backing their confidence in this vibrant and vital industry, despite recent coverage following two consecutive coral bleaching events,” Bennett said.

Cairns-based operator Divers Den is the latest to expand into the Port Douglas dive market with its new $5 million vessel, the only boat offering ‘on-board nitrox filling facilities and buddy diving’.

The popular Reef Sprinter has added a new half-day experience to Low Isles, and you can now sail to the outer reef from Port Douglas with Tropical Journeys.

Ecotourism experts Wavelength Charters have also welcomed a new vessel specialising in research charters, while Sailaway upgraded luxury catamaran Sailaway VI in July for its flagship Low Isles day experience and sunset sailing.

They also added a tour to the Mackay Reef from Cape Tribulation in the Daintree Rainforest.

“These additions add to the recent growth in super yachts home berthing from Port Douglas," Bennett said.

A recent report by Deloitte Access Economics put a total economic, social and treasured asset value of the Great Barrier Reef at $56 billion.

Quicksilver remains Port Douglas’ largest employer with 245 staff, and more will be generated later this year with the completion of its Learn to Dive centre in town.

Been out to the reef recently? Let us know in the comments below.

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