Exemplar celebrates 27 years in Port Douglas with hot new offer

BUSINESS

Karlie Brady

Journalist

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Exemplar Coaches and Limousines is celebrating 27 years in Port Douglas today with a special birthday rate. Image: Supplied.
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Exemplar Coaches and Limousines turns 27-years-old today.

To celebrate and show their appreciation for all the local support over the last 27 years, Exemplar is offering a “Birthday Rate” which will get you from Port Douglas to the airport or Cairns CBD (or vice versa) for just $27 one-way or $50 return throughout the month of July.

Exemplar has been in the Wellham family for the past 27 years when it began transporting people to and from Cairns Airport in 1993. Current owners Cheryl and Gordon Wellham have been involved with the family business from the start.

“Exemplar was the first Airport transport company in Port Douglas and now it’s grown to be the largest in the region,” Cheryl said.

After many years’ servicing the region, Exemplar was inducted into the Douglas Business Awards’ Hall of Fame in 2017 and has also been voted best transfer operator for the past seven years.

The company has grown to move approximately 150,000 people per year and before COVID, 60 per cent of its business relied on international visitors.

When international borders closed and almost all flights, including domestic, were grounded, Cheryl said the team was in shock.

“When COVID happened, our business went down by 99.87 per cent, so you can imagine what an impact that has had on us, as it has had on the entire town,” she said.

They switched to a skeleton crew who manned the phones and emails as well as kept private transfers running for essential workers but were forced to park most of their coaches.

Cheryl said she has kept in constant contact with her 50 employees ready to bring them back the moment she can.

She added that JobKeeper has been a lifesaver with 27 staff members on the government scheme.

“Our staff are an amazing group of people, all passionate about their job and the region.

“All our employees are locals and all of them are very knowledgeable and passionate about the area with some having worked for the company 12 years.”

Cheryl added that recently with more flights starting to move, there has been a shift in the mood amongst the team.

“The staff are feeling chirpier

“This ray of hope is a great birthday present for us.

“With flights increasing, we are adding additional services to meet them,” she said.

Exemplar is operating under a strict COVID Safe plan with all vehicles cleaned between trips with hospital grade disinfectant, hand sanitiser and masks on board, and procedures in place to minimise any physical contact.

“We are adhering to all the Covid-19 Safe procedures.”

For passengers who feel the need for additional social spacing, they can purchase an Exemplar Premium transfer, where they will board last, sit at the front and have a vacant seat next to them.

Cheryl said Exemplar has weathered many storms in its 27-year life, including the pilot strike and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. She is confident they will ride out the current pandemic and be stronger on the other side.

Call 42133333 to find out more about Exemplar’s 27th “Birthday Rate”.



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