Sunny skies but cancellations continue

Thursday 6 January 2011

Sunny skies but cancellations continue

Cancellations of holidays to Port Douglas continue despite the prime tourist destination being flood free.

A Tourism Queensland spokesperson said that they are attempting to work with media outlets to ensure accurate information about the areas affected is communicated.

TQ have a link on their home page providing some information on areas that remain unaffected by the flooding, and Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree (TPDD) have added a notice to their site today. TTNQ have yet to notify visitors to their website of the situation.

Newsport Daily reader Anna Whitfield said that it should be expected that tourists would cancel their holidays, one of many comments on the article 'Port Douglas, waving not drowning' (Tuesday 4 January).

"can't blame them, racq does not have a big map on their homepage showing where it (the flooding) is and whether there is road access or not, the tpdd does not have a big message on their homepage saying that this region has not been affected at all. every business in the region should have a note on their website by now saying that all is OK up here, in fact, today is a perfect day. I think people outside Australia might be better informed. Rather strange that people booking a flight somewhere, don't actually know where they are going…"

But it appears that even on the other side of the planet the media is painting a grim picture that would be enough to turn tourists off a tropical holiday.

'Gazza Tee', a UK resident who keeps his eye on Port Douglas via The Newsport Daily claims the BBC reported the following:

"Military aircraft are rushing to get supplies to residents, to whom there is only one land access route left. Police are urging people to stay out of the snake-infested waters, that have claimed the lives of three people.

"In other areas of Queensland, residents are beginning the recovery process, while others prepare for fresh floods.

"Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has described the situation as "a major natural disaster" and said recovery would take "a significant amount of time".

"The US was the latest nation to offer its assistance to the recovery of Queensland. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: "Australia is an important partner and close friend of the United States and we stand ready to provide assistance."

Gazza added "It might be a good idea to contact the BBC and say it's business as usual in Port Douglas."

Kristy McDowall of Port Douglas Tourist Information Centre said that she had received a number of calls regarding the weather situation in Port.

"I've had phone calls from down south but they're quite reluctant to believe you," she said and indicated to the clear blue skies.

"A lot of Australians are naive about how big North Queensland is. Our Bureau of Meteorology doesn't help with the Cooktown to Cardwell region (that Port Douglas falls in). It's like covering Melbourne to the NSW border.

"We've been trying to assure people that everything is alright," she said.

Holly and Joris, two visitors from Adelaide, arrived in Port Douglas four days ago despite media reports of flooding in the area.

"I was a bit worried because I thought it was closer to Bundaberg than what it is," Holly said.

Joris reiterated what we already know, "The weather reports are a bit worse than the fact," he said. 

Reporter's note: Thanks as always to all of you who contribute to the discussions via our comments service. There are plenty of great ideas being suggested and an obvious passion for Port Douglas.