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Tourism chief has plans for the Cape

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By MATT NICHOLLS

MEMBERS of the Western Cape Chamber of Commerce will be given reciprocal membership to Tourism Tropical North Queensland under a proposal put forward by the tourism body.

TTNQ chief Mark Olsen will be in Weipa next Monday to speak at the chamber of commerce function and will outline the plan.

The Cairns-based CEO said that TTNQ had worked out a similar arrangement with the Cooktown Chamber of Commerce and hoped it would deliver benefits to the Cape York industry.

“We need to realise that this winter is going to be the biggest on record from a drive market perspective,” Mr Olsen said.

“We have more domestic travellers on the road than ever before.

“For the Cape, it’s about making sure we are ready for the season to come and the challenges that lie ahead.”

Mr Olsen said it was unlikely the domestic tourism boom was going away and that opened up doors for regions like the Cape.

“The blue sky opportunity for us is how we grow the season to cater for more tourists,” he said.

“We need to be working together to fill the shoulders and extend the season.”

Mr Olsen said one challenge would be to cater for the peak periods.

“If there are too many people, the local communities will get their backs up if they can’t get medicine or groceries they would normally have access to,” he said.

“And tourists also expect to be catered for with enough camp sites and available accommodation. If they can’t stay here, their money doesn’t come into town.”

Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch will also speak at Monday night’s function at the Carpentaria Golf Club.

The Chamber of Commerce event is free, although businesses will be asked to join as members.

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