With a large percentage of East Coast Angling’s customers flying in from South East Queensland, owner Nick Milford said the COVID-19 restrictions hit the sport fishing tour company business hard and fast.
“Since Covid-19 got into full swing business stopped almost immediately due to the lockdown travel restrictions,” he said.
“We had to send our staff home to make sure they could be with their family during this tough time and have put the business into hibernation as best we could.
“But Nick is hopeful they could restart as early as mid-June “when people can travel further and stay overnight,” but the company is waiting on advice from the relevant marine authorities and “a more realistic timeframe is 10 July.
“I see the biggest challenge is getting holiday makers here from around Australia as we are heavily reliant on visitors who fly into the region, and I think this market will take time to bounce back.
“In the interim, we are focussing our marketing efforts on North Queensland. There’s half a million people in Townsville and Cairns and we want to grab their attention.
“We take guests to stunning locations and can certainly comply with social distancing with a maximum of four guests on our half day and full day tours.
In 2017, Nick founded East Coast Angling, a new outfit to channel his insatiable taste for adventure and guiding.
Nick has been in the charter industry since the age of 18, having started his career on the East Coast of Africa skippering various vessels and in many locations.
East Coast Angling offers the “ultimate fishing experience” to some of the most stunning and remote sport fishing locations on the Great Barrier Reef & Coral Sea.
Their intimate knowledge of the far north and outer Coral Sea, combined with decades of professional sport fishing experience means their customers never have a better opportunity to chase down a bucket list of trophy fish.
Nick hasn’t given up on their overseas customers. Several have simply postponed their 2020 trip until 2021 – a date to be confirmed when there’s an indication of when Australia’s international borders will be opened.
But, 2021 is a long way off and Nick believe campaigns like Buy Douglas: Build Douglas are really important.
“By supporting each other is the only way we can all survive.”
East Coast Angling as a “sport fishing tour operator” but no matter how many adjectives you can cram into a sentence, words alone just don’t do this tour any justice – you absolutely have to watch the video.
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