Under Mr Ryan’s leadership Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree was subsequently successful in obtaining long-term funding, lobbying the then Douglas Shire Council for a three-year commitment and later Cairns Regional Council for a four-year agreement.
He was instrumental in the evolution of the association to a not-for-profit company, Port Douglas Daintree Tourism Limited, which later became known as Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree.
He has overseen its growth into one of Australia’s most respected membership based local tourism organisations.
Tony Baker, chair of Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree, said Doug has been an outstanding leader of the tourism industry in North Queensland.
“Doug’s contribution to the industry cannot be understated as he has helped steer the industry through some very turbulent times in recent years and I have no doubt that the efforts of Doug and his team have been instrumental in the Port Douglas and Daintree region being one of the best performing regional areas in Australia,” he said.
Mr Ryan said of the 27 years in the tourism industry, the last eight have been some of the most challenging and rewarding of his career, so far.
“We started with an organisation that was virtually non-existent but went on to obtain a funding agreement with council, build an effective cohesive team and implement proven and new marketing initiatives while representing the industry to government and the public.
“It was a huge challenge, made even more demanding by the GFC, the withdrawal of the Qantas Japan flights, cyclones, the high Australian dollar, an increasing number of Aussies travelling overseas plus ongoing funding uncertainties.”
Mr Ryan said there have been two major highlights as he looks back. “First, has been the opportunity to build and work with an amazing team at TPDD - Tara, Chelsea and the talented consultants I have been lucky enough to work with are just that, amazing people.
“Secondly, the opportunity to work with the operators of the Douglas region who have provided continual support throughout tough times has been a pleasure.
“They are always ready to support famils, marketing campaigns and more importantly, missions and trade shows.
Mr Ryan said this group were a major reason for the success of this destination.
“I am pleased to say that last year was a record year with over 2.19 million room nights in our region, an achievement I am very proud of.
“I am excited to see the region rebounding and a major goal I will be working towards before I leave, will be the challenge of securing ongoing funding from council for a sustainable future and the continued success of TPDD. Thank you, everyone, for your support over the years.”
With Doug Ryan’s planned departure the search will now commence for his replacement.
Applications for the position will be advertised shortly and are expected to close late February with the successful applicant starting by the end of April, to allow a reasonable handover period and just prior to ATE.
“On behalf of the board and members of TPDD I would like to thank Doug for his outstanding contribution to our industry and we wish him all the best in the future,” added Mr Baker.
For more information, please contact:
Tourism Port Douglas & Daintree
Phone: 07 4099 4588 / 0417794875
Issued by Tanya Snelling, Strategic PR, 0417 202 663