Promising signs to revitalise the region
THE professors behind the Melbourne Business School project Revitalise Port Douglas have met with stakeholders and the Chamber of Commerce to start the ball rolling.
The meeting was aimed at developing a better understanding of the problems facing the Port Douglas business community and learn about the history of the region to help develop a brief for the 30 MBA students, who will spend a week in the region in February to help revitalise the economy.
Professor Selwyn D’souza, who is running the program, said the response from the initial meeting is positive.
“Overall it was a very positive, very passionate and very engaging meeting with all the people,” he said.
“What we need to do is to agree first with the town where do you want to be in five years - the vision.
“Once we understand that properly, we can structure the students to take on different projects relevant to Port, possibly focus on tourism, on systems, community development, marketing and promotional strategies and branding for the town.”
The three MBS associates have gathered information from the meeting to develop the business brief and project for the 30-40 students.
“We spent some time broadly looking at the history of Port Douglas, what happened, what made it boom and what made it turn since then,” Professor D’souza said.
“There is no cohesive plan to go forward, there are multiple different interests with everyone trying to optimise what they do best and the overall pie is missing.”
It was suggested the project be expanded to include Mossman and the Daintree but with the limited time frame and number of students, a decision was made to focus just on Port Douglas.
“What I found most notable there was quite a variety of key messages but the concept comprehensive plan shows a lot of alignment across the board,” Professor D’souza said.
“Port has a very good plan to go forward managed cohesively across all sectors.
“We don’t have a silver bullet but a good plan can be done depending on how well and how candid people are and how much people engage with us.
“I’m very optimistic given the enthusiasm.”
The dedicated students are paying their own airfares to come to Port Douglas for their business project and if any resort managers have space to put students up - even if it is just one room - during the first week of February, contact the Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce on 4084 0285 or email secretary@ portdouglaschamber. com.au