Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said the organisation’s immediate focus was to keep the community and visitors safe.
“A large number of residents have been evacuated from the northern beaches and we are working to provide emergency accommodation for them and their pets,” he said.
“The Barron River, which is famous for the Barron Falls, has reached record levels and overflowed into the Cairns Airport for the first time in history.
“Safety is the priority, and an assessment of the airport will be undertaken at midday. The airport will not be welcoming any flights until it has been given the all-clear.
“Tropical North Queensland currently has more than 4500 visitors in the region including 400 emergency services crew.
“Since December 5, the region has lost an estimated $60 million in cancellations and forward bookings.
“We have another tough week ahead as we assess the damage and map our way forward.
“We are resilient, and we will recover. However, the industry will need assistance to rebuild and recover. It will take a few days to assess the impact on the industry.
“Right now our focus is on accommodating the incredible emergency services team and providing emergency accommodation for our displaced residents.”