MBS urges one vi­sion, one voice to re­vi­talise

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

RE­VI­TAL­IS­ING Port Dou­glas starts with de­vel­op­ing a shared vi­sion and hav­ing one uni­fied voice, ac­cord­ing to the ex­perts.

The find­ings from the re­port by Melbourne Busi­ness School were de­liv­ered last Satur­day to a com­mu­nity meet­ing of around 50 lo­cal par­tic­i­pants.

Pro­fes­sor Sel­wyn D’souza, who ran the MBS pro­gram, ad­dressed the meet­ing and said hav­ing one shared voice is the main is­sue for Port Dou­glas.

“The main thing that came out is there’s a lot of things that need a col­lec­tive ap­proach,” he said.

“Fun­da­men­tally Port Dou­glas needs to de­velop a shared vi­sion and have one voice get­ting be­hind pro­grams or strate­gic plans.

“And this needs to be agreed to by the cit­i­zens of Port Dou­glas so ev­ery­body will get be­hind and sup­port the lead­ers, nom­i­nated or elected.”

Pro­fes­sor D’souza said the town needs to un­der­stand the root causes be­hind the de­cline Port Dou­glas is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.

“The growth and de­vel­op­ment of Port Dou­glas has been spec­tac­u­lar but the last six years there has been a sig­nif­i­cant de­cline,” he said.

“We term the sit­u­a­tion as ’tourist masi­fi­ca­tion’- oc­cu­pancy has been de­clin­ing, which led to price dis­count­ing.

“That slowly moved the des­ti­na­tion from be­ing a pre­mium des­ti­na­tion to be­ing a more com­mon des­ti­na­tion and at­tract- ing less af­flu­ent peo­ple who on av­er­age spend less.”

Prof D’souza said the stu­dents have come up with ideas for growth in the tourism in­dus­try.

“You need to find spe­cific tar­gets and you don’t want to tar­get back­pack­ers be­cause they’ll come any­way,” he said.

“You have to work out who you want to tar­get, be spe­cific, un­der­stand the tourism tar­get and tar­get the right seg­ments.

“Get co­he­sion across the town about the feel of Port Dou­glas which is pre­sented to the world.

“If you search for Port Dou­glas on the web you get a num­ber of con­fus­ing mes­sages.

“There needs to be some eval­u­a­tion of iden­tity and one uni­fied mes­sage go­ing out in terms of iden­tity.”

To help strengthen the tourism in­dus­try in Port Dou­glas there needs to be in­vest­ment, Prof D’souza said.

“There was an op­por­tu­nity to get a ma­jor in­vest­ment from the Gov­ern­ment for the Waterfront but there was no uni­fied voice,” Prof D’souza said.

“Whether be­cause of that, or be­cause there was no money, we haven’t been suc­cess­ful at get­ting any in­vest­ment and we also need in­cen­tives for pri­vate par­ties to in­vest.

“Whether they’re build­ing con­ven­tion cen­tres of re­fur­bish­ing ho­tels, there needs to be an in­cen­tive for that to take place.”

The final re­port will be de­liv­ered to the public by the end of the month.

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