Edi­tor’s com­ment:

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK -

WHILE some busi­ness own­ers might have walked away from Tues­day night’s busi­ness fo­rum in Port Dou­glas still scratch­ing their heads, at least it is a step in the right di­rec­tion.

In such dif­fi­cult times, it is hard to work out the for­est from the trees and easy to point the fin­ger of blame.

But the fact of the mat­ter is there are many fac­tors which have con­trib­uted to such a tough pe­riod eco­nom­i­cally.

While min­ing re­gions are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing un­prece­dented booms, those of us who rely on the tourism trade are left won­der­ing if there will be a light at the end of the tun­nel.

What started with a global fi­nan­cial cri­sis has been com­pounded by a high Aus­tralian dol­lar and more peo­ple un­able to con­tem­plate a hol­i­day.

But at least the Port Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce and Tourism Port Dou­glas Dain­tree are try­ing to ad­dress the con­cerns of busi­ness own­ers.

Nei­ther the Cham­ber or TPDD can solve all the prob­lems of any busi­ness.

What the or­gan­i­sa­tions can do though is open a di­a­logue with busi­ness own­ers to pri­ori­tise their needs and try and work to­gether with the com­mu­nity to for­mu­late a plan which again puts the Dou­glas re­gion back on top of the tourism pile.

We have great prod­ucts, as proven by the Queens­land Tourism awards which saw lo­cal busi­nesses col­lect three ma­jor gongs, and we’re recog­nised as one of the world’s lead­ing eco­tourism desti­na­tions, as demon­strated by the “eco­tourism bi­ble” which lists a quar­ter of all Queens­land eco­tourist ven­tures as com­ing from here.

We also have great peo­ple, many of whom have been through sig­nif­i­cant down­turns be­fore and came out the other side.

The re­gion as a whole needs to draw on these re­sources to nav­i­gate such a vi­cious eco­nomic cli­mate.

Hope­fully Tues­day night’s fo­rum was the first of many.

In fu­ture there needs to be more de­bate about the fu­ture di­rec­tion of the lo­cal tourism sec­tor to ad­dress the con­cerns of busi­ness own­ers and float a few new ideas which may not have been con­sid­ered. But judg­ing from the turnout on Tues­day, there is the re­solve and in­ter­est to put up a col­lec­tive front and find the an­swers we need.

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