SANTA CATS: The Red Cat Adventures team is embracing the festive season, with a skeleton crew taking care of guests on Christmas Day. From left are: Mark Huston, Asher Telford, Chris Leverington, Christie Murray and Tayla Johannesen.
SANTA CATS: The Red Cat Adventures team is embracing the festive season, with a skeleton crew taking care of guests on Christmas Day. From left are: Mark Huston, Asher Telford, Chris Leverington, Christie Murray and Tayla Johannesen.

Meet the people keeping Airlie ticking at Christmas

WHILE you’re tucking into your Christmas turkey, spare a thought for our hardworking tourism operators who work 365 days of the year to keep our visitors entertained and happy.

While many people are enjoying a few days, or even a week, off work this festive season, there are those at the ‘front line’ who don’t miss a beat when it comes to looking after our tourists.

Red Cat Adventures is one such business, with two of their boats – Tongarra and Thundercat II – doing the rounds of the best snorkelling spots tomorrow, and their mainland resort, Paradise Cove, also operating as normal.

Owner Asher Telford said some of the 30 staff would be having the day off, with a ‘skeleton’ staff working Christmas Day to keep the wheels turning.

“The boats will be departing today, Christmas Eve, and out on the water tomorrow, Christmas Day,” he said.

“They are all fully booked, which is great. We will be closing the Main Street booking office, in Airlie, just for the day, and then back into it as normal on Boxing Day.”

HAPPY: Chelsea Brown, who works in guest services at Heart Hotel & Gallery, enjoys working on Christmas Day because
HAPPY: Chelsea Brown, who works in guest services at Heart Hotel & Gallery, enjoys working on Christmas Day because "everybody's happy".

Heart Hotel & Gallery, meanwhile, in the middle of the Airlie Beach Main Street, is also fully booked over the festive season.

Staff will be working on Christmas Day, as normal, to make sure guests’ wishes are met while on holiday.

“I don’t mind working Christmas Day,” Chelsea Brown, from guest services, said.

“Everybody’s happy at this time of year when they come in on holidays, so it’s great!”