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TOURISM operators in the Port Douglas and Daintree region are now poised to weather any storm with the launch of a new hands-on guide designed to build resilience in the sector.

Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD) today launched the ‘Douglas Tourism Operators Response and Recovery Project’, which features a guide and strategy designed to empower local businesses through disaster events.

The initiative follows the launch of the ‘Summer in the Tropics’ campaign with Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) to stimulate summer travel in coming months.

This project was jointly funded under the Commonwealth and Queensland State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements 2018 with the support of Douglas Shire Council.

(Above) SES Area Controller Peter Rinaudo, Emergency Services Co-Ordinator Nadine Oosen, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree CEO Tara Bennett, Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr and QFES Inspector Stephen Tognolni

TPDD Chief Executive Officer Tara Bennett said the operators’ strategy and checklist are designed to support businesses in their time of need.

“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that resilience comes from sound planning, adaptation and the ability to act in a crisis,” she said.

“This go-to guide is a hands-on document for local operators to use in a crisis and beyond, by providing useful tips on sensitive messaging, open for business actions and recovery steps for every stage.

“We saw how challenging it was to cut-through the southern media messaging when the Townsville floods occurred in 2019, with many operators reporting booking cancellations and lower visitor numbers despite our region being well and truly open for business.

“Our guide will provide a toolkit for operators to help dispel alarmist messaging, prioritise recovery steps, rebuild visitor confidence and bring the region together with a unified message when severe weather  strikes North Queensland.”

The strategy and guide was officially launched at the Douglas Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) meeting in Mossman today.

TPDD secured a grant under the Far North Queensland Monsoon Trough Flexible Funding Grant.

This allowed for a Douglas Tourism Disaster Resilience Building Project that integrated strategy and industry support with marketing activity to rebuild confidence.

The Douglas Shire-specific guide builds on a document called ‘Tourism Crisis Communication Toolkit”, a state-wide document that was created for tourism organisations to manage their response and recovery  from a crisis at the regional level.

Electronic copies of the Douglas Tourism Operators Response and Recovery Strategy & Guide are available from the TPDD website.

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