Local businesses ready for big Easter following lockdown scare


Karlie Brady


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Prue Needham owner of Tahitian Lime in Port Douglas is hoping for a bumper Easter and says she has had no problems with customers following the new mask rules. Image: Karlie Brady.
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The Port Douglas and Daintree region is set for a bumper Easter despite the scare from Brisbane’s snap three-day lockdown.

Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree CEO Tara Bennett said today’s end of lockdown announcement came as a huge relief to the region’s tourism industry.

“It is absolutely welcome news,” she said.

“We were fortunate not to lose a lot of accommodation bookings, however, tours and experiences did receive a number of cancellations.

“We were very aware that today would have been make or break, with people holding off to today to see what would happen before making cancellations.”

Despite the scare, Ms Bennett said high numbers of visitors are expected to travel to the region for Easter and the school holidays and she expects those lost tours bookings to be refilled.

“I would expect the region to sit between 85 and 90 per cent occupancy over Easter,” Ms Bennett said.

Visitors from the southeast corner of the state are once again able to travel to the region for Easter with the snap three-day lockdown officially ending at midday today. However, masks are still mandatory for the next 14 days across the entire state.

Accor Pacific CEO, Simon McGrath, said, “bookings are looking reasonable for the Easter school holiday period and there are still some great deals to be had at Accor’s hotels, resorts and apartment in the region.

“It’s great news that domestic travellers are choosing to holiday in Tropical North Queensland this Easter as it supports the thousands of workers in the travel industry and the many business owners.”

Mick Whalen from Nautilus Apartments said he had experienced some cancellations earlier this week, however had been able to make some of them back up with new bookings.

“Easter is looking good; we are full for about a week. However, then it does back off again.

“Things are obviously better than last year but still not quite as good as the year before.”

On the retail front, Prue Needham owner of Tahitian Lime in Port Douglas is hoping to see good numbers pass through over Easter after a quiet time.

“Everyone is hoping for the best, but we will just have to wait and see,” she said.

“We are relieved the lockdown has ended. It has defiantly put a lot of people’s minds at rest. It is definitely a bonus for us.”

And, Ms Needham added that so far, everyone has been playing by the new mask rules.

“Everyone has been brilliant, we haven’t had to ask anyone to put one on, they just know they have to wear it and they have been great,” she said.

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