Cyclone Yasi update
The situation in Tropical North Queensland is still unravelling, but the good news is that in most tourist destinations the damage from Cyclone Yasi was not as devastating as predicted.
Tourism infrastructure in Cairns and Port Douglas escaped relatively unscathed after the carnage feared by the arrival of Cyclone Yasi failed to fully materialise. Major hotels are trading as normal with little impact to their operations.
The Cairns CBD began springing back to life on Thursday from about noon with businesses starting to re-open, including cafes and souvenir stores.
A full assessment of the situation around the region is still underway but the majority of the infrastructure appears to have been spared. Most operators have minimal damage and should be back up and running in hours or days in the worst cases.
The Conjoint Marketing Group team has spoken to clients from Port Douglas to Mission Beach and the word we have is that everything from a tourism infrastructure point of view survived remarkably well -- and will be back in business in the coming few days.
Cardwell and Tully sadly suffered the brunt of the force and that is where the most damage seems to have been inflicted.
Mission Beach is covered in downed trees and foliage everywhere, but not that much infrastructrual damage, it seems, aside from one or two roofs being blown off.
Castaways Resort & Spa has survived aside from some minor damage to pool fences. All 50 rooms are intact and core operations are back in action.
Castaways owner James Neville Smith said: “We got through Cyclone Larry back in 2006, and I think the property got through Winifred in the mid-Eighties, so it's stood the test of time. We spent a lot of money on Castaways last year, fixing the roof and bringing it from a three star resort up to a four and a half star resort. We're pretty proud that it's stood up.”
As of Thursday evening (European time) we have not been able to speak to the Elandra directly, as the power is still cut off, phone lines are down and the mobile phone towers’ batteries (which kick in when power is lost) have run out of battery. You can’t get in or out as yet due to trees being down over the roads. We would expect this to be fixed in the coming days.