Busi­ness events on im­prove

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - TOURISM TALK -

BUSI­NESS events op­er­a­tors from across the re­gion are fore­cast­ing an im­proved year af­ter at­tend­ing the Asia Pa­cific In­cen­tives and Meet­ings Expo last month.

The two-day show opened doors for busi­ness events op­er­a­tors from across the Dou­glas re­gion to meet key con­fer­ence and in­cen­tive de­ci­sion-mak­ers from the Asia Pa­cific to show­case the ser­vices and fa­cil­i­ties the re­gion of­fers.

Sher­a­ton Mi­rage Port Dou­glas, Hannaford’s Flames of the For­est, Silky Oaks Lodge, Ry­dges Ho­tels and Re­sorts North Queens­land, Quick­sil­ver Con­nec­tions and Thala Beach Lodge all at­tended the expo.

Hannaford’s Flames of the For­est sales man­ager Natalie John­son said many lo­cal busi­ness events op­er­a­tors took the op­por­tu­nity to re­mind buy­ers our re­gion was not af­fected by Cy­clone Yasi and the floods through­out Queens­land.

“We were very busy through­out the two days with up to 40 ap­point­ments where we got to meet with de­ci­sion­mak­ers and talk face to face,” she said. “Peo­ple are still very in­ter­ested in Port Dou­glas as a des­ti­na­tion and we were de­ter­mined to let peo­ple know we were ’open for busi­ness’ and show that we were not af­fected by the nat­u­ral disas­ter as peo­ple do tend to look at the Far North as one des­ti­na­tion.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ms John­son, many na­tional cor­po­rate com­pa­nies ex­pressed in­ter­est in Port Dou­glas and two do­mes­tic clients are cur­rently look­ing to re­lo­cate their con­fer­ences to the re­gion to sup­port Aus­tralia.

“Cor­po­rate com­pa­nies want to be seen sup­port­ing Aus­tralians and sup­port­ing their own coun­try,” Ms John­son said.

“It is great to see Aus­tralian com­pa­nies want­ing to stay on shore to sup­port lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties when the Aus­tralian dol­lar is so high and we are com­pet­ing with other des­ti­na­tions such as Fiji, Thai­land and even as far as Hawaii. We al­ready have 13 groups with over 100 peo­ple each trav­el­ling to Port Dou­glas this year.”

Ms John­son said it has be­come dif­fi­cult fore­cast how well the re­gion will do this year com­pared to pre­vi­ous years as buy­ers have changed their trend of mak­ing book­ings.

“Ten years ago it was re­ally easy to de­ter­mine what your busi­ness was go­ing to be­cause buy­ers were book­ing 12 months to two years in ad­vance, but now book­ings can be made as early as six weeks,” she said.

“So ev­ery week we are work­ing on at­tract­ing busi­nesses to the des­ti­na­tion which is a great part of at­tend­ing these trade shows be­cause we are col­lec­tively sell­ing the des­ti­na­tion.

“The peo­ple who at­tend the events in our re­gion spend money in town, buy sou­venirs and Busi­ness Events Aus­tralia has been able to de­ter­mine that a high ma­jor­ity of leisure clients will re­turn to the des­ti­na­tion as a di­rect re­sult of a busi­ness event be­ing held here.

lo­cal events op­er­a­tors such as Flames of the For­est are op­ti­mistic about the next 12 months

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