IN A MOVE aimed at supporting Daintree tourism operators, Douglas Shire Council has resolved to waive Daintree Ferry charges for Daintree Day tour operators for two months from August 1 through to September 30, 2020.

Mayor Michael Kerr said restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic were having a significant impact on tourism businesses in the Shire and this was one way Council could assist.

“Around 9,000 tour buses travel across the ferry in any one year, taking over 100,000 visitors to the Daintree National Park.

“These tours are designed to include the best the Daintree has to offer. They allow visitors to access private World Heritage Listed locations, dine in restaurants nestled beside pristine creeks, spot wildlife on a river cruise or perhaps take a guided walk in ancient rainforest.

“Many small business operators wanting to share their passion for the rainforest with visitors rely on these bus tour companies to bring them customers.

“At this time of year tour operators would usually be running multiple tours, with most of the seats filled.

“Visitor numbers are significantly down which has forced some companies to run on selected days only, with a reduced number of vehicles.”

“Rarely are all the seats filled which means operating the tours becomes marginal, so waiving of the ferry fees will provide these operators with some respite and help support businesses in north of the river,” Mayor Kerr said.

Council is also working with the industry to provide up to date lists to travellers and booking agents on what’s open in the Daintree.

The Mayor said that while a few businesses were closed and others had limited the days or hours they were open, there is still plenty of tours and restaurants open in the Daintree.

“We are providing leaflets which are handed out at the ferry and the same information is sent through to accommodation places and tour booking agents. The leaflets show opening days and hours for all tours, attractions and restaurants operating in the Daintree,”  Mayor Kerr said.

The list is updated weekly and anyone wanting a copy can request one by emailing gaye.scott@douglas.qld.gov.au