The Douglas Shire is an important part of a visitor’s experience in Tropical North Queensland and on average welcomes 443,000 overnight visitors and 264,000 day visitors each year, generating $611 million while supporting over 2,500 jobs.

Figures from Tourism and Events Queensland demonstrate that, with an 80% economic reliance on tourism, the Douglas Shire ranks as the most tourism-dependent region in Australia.

The tourism industry relies primarily on the spectacular World Heritage listed beauty of the region and several internationally renowned natural attractions. Significant tourism assets include access to the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest National Park, unspoilt beaches, the Daintree and other fresh water rivers including dazzling waterfalls, and generally beautiful rural and agricultural scenery.

The Mossman Gorge Centre, an eco-tourism and visitor’s centre at the gorge, enhances the ability to share Kuku Yalanji culture, traditional knowledge and history with tourists through guided tours of the forest, caves and traditional homeland. The centre provides an increase in opportunities for Aboriginal training and employment through tourism and the production and sale of local art.

Prolonged border closures and restricted aviation access, as a result of COVID-19, decimated visitation mnumbers to the destination causing the Shire’s GRP to shrink by more than 5%, in the quarter ending 30 September, 2020.

Emerging from the pandemic the destination will continue to appeal to a more conscious traveller who values sustainable experiences and considers the wider social and economic impact of their travels.

Council is committed to preserving the unique appeal of the Douglas Shire by strengthening the Shire’s ECO Destination Certification with Ecotourism Australia and providing a business environment that supports nature-based and sustainable enterprise.

Additionally, Douglas is well-positioned to attract new markets with fresh experiences, grow the health and well-being sector and capitalise on our appeal to the lucrative sports tourism and adventure markets.

In the wake of COVID-19, this Strategy aims to build resilience within the industry, ensuring long-term employment for residents and financial security for local businesses.

Tourism Numbers to Douglas
Visitor Nights 2.478 million
Staying overnight 443,000
Day visitors 264,000
International visitor numbers 541,208
Domestic 1,604,660

Source: . Data is based on a four-year average from 2016-2019. Douglas LGA Profile,Tourism Research Australia