In preparation for reopening an extensive COVID-Safe plan has been developed and virus protection safety measures introduced.
After a prolonged closure due to a severe downturn in domestic and international tourism courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tropical North Queensland’s most iconic rainforest attraction will reopen in time for the upcoming Queensland school holidays.
Though some staff have been busy with maintenance and facility upgrades since the doors closed to visitors in late March, it has been a difficult time for everyone involved with the business.
General Manager, Mr Richard Berman-Hardman said "The past five months have been the most challenging period our family owned business has ever endured, and it’s been particularly stressful for our staff."
Because Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is economically important to the whole region, its management has endured added stress knowing there are scores of other businesses and hundreds of people who rely on the multi-award-winning enterprise. Though the business has received some support from State and Federal Governments, the sheer cost of opening and operating a 7.5km cableway without an adequate critical mass of visitors to cover costs, means the decision to reopen hasn’t been easy.
"Though we are grateful for the Job Keeper scheme and assistance we’ve received from the Queensland Government, unfortunately, we haven’t received the level of financial support needed to enable us to open more than a couple of days each week, for now." he added.
"Opening makes no real commercial sense as we won’t be making a profit for some time but the symbolism of reopening Skyrail is vital for our team and for the wider community," Mr. Berman-Hardman said.
In preparation for reopening an extensive COVID-Safe plan has been developed and virus protection safety measures introduced. Families, individuals and groups of people who live together will travel together in their own freshly sanitised gondolas. In addition, new check in, ticketing and queuing measures will also feature to ensure social distancing.
"The thinking and resources we’ve deployed and the lengths we’ve gone to deal with COVID-19 are extensive, unambiguous and first rate. Everyone visiting Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and the ancient rainforest will feel very, very safe." Richard Berman-Hardman said.
Skyrail’s staff are very eager to welcome back Cairns locals and other North Queensland residents and our team are hopeful holiday makers from other COVID safe parts of Queensland and Australia will supply enough tourists to ensure the business can remain open on a limited basis until trading conditions improve.
"We are understandably nervous about the future of the whole industry here in Cairns but, for now, we are Good to Go and excited to open the doors and welcome everyone back to the ancient rainforest." Richard Berman-Hardman stated.
Skyrail will reopen each Saturday and Sunday commencing 5th September and will open Thursday to Sunday inclusive during the school holidays.