Douglas Shire Council will launch an “early bird” discount to encourage visitors to travel on the Daintree Ferry before 9am in time for the upcoming school holidays.
The Daintree Ferry has experienced record numbers of vehicles travelling on the ferry in the past 18 months which has prolonged waiting times for locals and visitors during peak periods.
Mayor Julia Leu said Council has been working with local tourism operators north of the Daintree River to develop strategies to minimise delays while encouraging visitors to experience the beauty of the world’s oldest rainforest and the early bird discount is the latest initiative.
“From 15 September to 3 October inclusive, Council will trial an ‘early-bird’ discount for ferry travellers for any vehicle in the car/ute category travelling before 9am each day, reducing the return fare by over 25 per cent to just $20 and offering one-way fares for just $10, a discount of over 33 per cent for self-drive tourists,” Mayor Leu said.
“This initiative also has the added benefit of encouraging self-drive visitors to spend longer north of the Daintree River so they have more time to experience the beauty of the region and the diversity of tours and activities available.”
Mayor Leu said initiatives implemented such as the Douglas Card – which offers free travel on the ferry to residents of the Douglas Shire, Cairns Regional Council, Mareeba Shire, the Tablelands, Cassowary Coast, Cooktown and Wujal Wujal areas between 1 November and 28 February – had helped stimulate record visitor numbers for the region.
“We are hopeful this new ‘early-bird’ discount for self-drive tourists during this trial period will also have a positive impact on not just the Daintree economy, but make the experience of visiting the Daintree better for everyone by reducing the demand for travel during peak periods for north bound traffic,” Mayor Leu said.
“Following the trial, Council will complete an analysis of travel trends for corresponding periods in previous years to ascertain the effectiveness of offering discounted ‘early bird’ fares.”
Council will be promoting the discounted fares extensively in the upcoming weeks however the local tourism industry is encouraged to contribute to the success of the trial and share the information with their own networks to inform as many visitors as possible about the initiative.