In North Queensland, the tourism industry is asking for urgent help after ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper and severe flooding. They want to save the Christmas and summer seasons from economic troubles. While some areas are damaged, most North Queensland is open and ready for tourists.
North Queensland Tourism Industry Seeks Help After Cyclone Jasper
After the recent ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper and heavy floods, North Queensland's tourism industry calls for urgent assistance. They aim to salvage the Christmas and summer period and prevent further economic downturns. Despite some regions being affected, most of North Queensland is sunny and welcoming for visitors.
Mark Olsen, CEO of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, highlights that the cyclone and floods have only impacted specific areas. He emphasizes that most of North Queensland is operational and eager to provide visitors with unforgettable experiences. According to Travel Weekly, Olsen urges the public and the travel industry to support them during this difficult period. He notes that local businesses are innovating, like running ferries between Port Douglas and Cairns and rerouting bus routes to the Daintree.
Tourism in North Queensland contributes $3.7 billion annually to the state's economy. Keeping holiday bookings is crucial, Olsen adds. Claudia Brumme-Smith, CEO of Townsville Enterprise, echoes this sentiment. She reassures that destinations like Townsville, Magnetic Island, and Cairns are ready for visitors despite some areas north of Cairns facing significant challenges.
Businesses like Cairns Adventure Group, led by Roderic Rees, share the severe impact of the weather event on their operations. Similarly, Accor's General Manager Wayne Reynolds expresses concern over significant booking cancellations due to misconceptions about the region being closed.
While facing challenges in certain areas, the tourism sector remains open in most parts of North Queensland. Stakeholders are keen to welcome visitors and call for community, government, and potential tourist support to aid recovery efforts and ensure a successful Christmas season for North Queensland.
Tropical Cyclone Jasper Hits North Queensland Hard
Last week, North Queensland faced severe flooding due to Tropical Cyclone Jasper, surprising many residents. Despite being used to cyclones, locals did not expect the extent of damage this category-two storm would bring.
In Machans Beach, near Cairns, Euan Williams and his wife, Shannon, experienced a sudden flood. Water quickly filled their street and homes, making it impossible to stay. They and their pets had to leave their house, which was completely ruined.
The Guardian reported that North Queensland is known for its cyclone preparedness, with an average of one cyclone every two years. However, the impact of Jasper was unprecedented. In Mossman, a sudden 'flash flood' struck on Sunday afternoon, filling the town with water and disappearing quickly. This unexpected event left long-time residents like Peter McKewon's mother-in-law, who had lived there for nearly 80 years, in shock.
The situation was dire in Cairns as well. Cairns Mayor Terry James expressed surprise at the cyclone's behavior, which differed from the usual forecasts. The Barron River, near Machans Beach and Cairns, reported rain totals of up to 2,200mm, more than the city's annual average.
The aftermath of Jasper left North Queensland with a critical issue - a shortage of drinking water. Cairns residents were advised to use water only for essential needs. Additionally, remote communities like Wujal Wujal were cut off due to ongoing floods, with rescue operations being hindered by the conditions.
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