Tourism Aus­tralia bosses hold fo­rum

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - HOLLY ROBERT­SON

TOURISM Aus­tralia yes­ter­day con­ducted the first ever Port Dou­glas fo­rum be­tween the coun­try’s high­est tourism of­fi­cials and lo­cal op­er­a­tors.

About 60 tourism rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Port Dou­glas-Dain­tree re­gion at­tended the three-hour event at Sea Tem­ple Re­sort and Spa.

Tourism Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer An­drew McEvoy fielded ques­tions at the open fo­rum along­side se­nior mar­ket man­agers Richard Beer, Matt Cameron Smith and Jim Jones.

Mr McEvoy said the biggest is­sue fac­ing the re­gion was the de­cline of air­lines fly­ing into Cairns.

“If you look at the last 10 years, there are less seats now than there was eight or 10 years ago,” he said.

He praised Cairns Air­port chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Stephen Gregg for lur­ing back air­lines in the face of the global eco­nomic down­turn but said it was “es­sen­tial” to at­tract more.

“With the in­tro­duc­tion of the New Zealand daily flights we have seen a growth in num­bers,” Mr McEvoy said.

Tourism Aus­tralia hopes to dou­ble vis­i­tors to the re­gion by 2020 through fos­ter­ing part­ner­ships with global car­ri­ers.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion re­cently launched a three­year $150 mil­lion tourism cam­paign.

Mr McEvoy said lo­cal op­er­a­tors could lever­age the new “Noth­ing Like Aus­tralia” cam­paign into “Noth­ing Like Port Dou­glas” but would need to put in the hard yards.

“It’s a bit like a gym mem­ber­ship, you get out what you put in,” he said.

He said a strong part­ner­ship be­tween Port Dou­glas Dain­tree Tourism and larger tourism bod­ies would en­hance mar­ket­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“The “Noth­ing Like Aus­tralia” cam­paign forces us to dif­fer­en­ti­ate our unique sell­ing points and your des­ti­na­tion with the reef and rain­for­est fits per­fectly within the no­tion of the cam­paign,” Mr McEvoy said.

Port Dou­glas Dain­tree Tourism ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Doug Ryan said the fo­rum was a pos­i­tive event for op­er­a­tors and the PDDT board, which had a closed meet­ing with TA last night.

“If noth­ing else it gave our mem­bers con­fi­dence in the di­rec­tion of the in­dus­try and where it is go­ing in terms of brand­ing,” he said.

A net­work­ing event af­ter­wards gave op­er­a­tors the chance to en­gage first-hand with Tourism Aus­tralia ex­ec­u­tives.

Ma­rine is­sues: Tourism Aus­tralia boss An­drew McEvoy chats to En­ter­prise Char­ters op­er­a­tor Sally Sherlock and Meri­dien Mari­nas gen­eral man­ager Ja­son Roles

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.