RE­VI­TAL­IS­ING PORT DOU­GLAS Mar­ket­ing our key mo­ti­va­tors

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

LONG term im­prove­ment to Port Dou­glas’s econ­omy can be achieved by im­ple­ment­ing four strate­gic ini­tia­tives, ac­cord­ing to the Melbourne Busi­ness School in its re­port to help re­vi­talise the re­gion.

The ini­tia­tives in­clude in­creas­ing the tourism mar­ket by fo­cus­ing re­sources to re­store the al­lure of the town and tar­get­ing key mar­ket seg­ments to help drive growth and re­verse the tourist mas­si­fi­ca­tion trend.

Port Dou­glas needs to grow at 5 per cent per an­num over the next five years to reach 2005 tourist lev­els and the re­port rec­om­mends im­proved mar­ket re­search to bet­ter un­der­stand Port Dou­glas’s val­ues and tourist pro­files.

The pro­posed fo­cus is aligned with the do­mes­tic mar­ket’s main mo­ti­va­tion to visit Port Dou­glas be­ing “trop­i­cal re­lax­ation” while the most sig­nif­i­cant mo­ti­va­tor for the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket is “reef and re­lax”.

The key do­mes­tic tourist is seek­ing a rest­ful break and in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket it is the first-time cou­ples. Both have a fairly high bud­get, are less sea­sonal and are more likely to be­come re­peat tourists.

Port Dou­glas needs to dif­fer­en­ti­ate it­self from Cairns and not com­pete against the city by po­si­tion­ing it­self as a se­cluded hide­away ex­pe­ri­ence, the re­port claims.

It also needs to in­vest in in­fra­struc­ture aligned to the town’s vi­sion and iden­tity and up­grade ex­ist­ing prop­er­ties to re­store com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage and en­cour­age fur­ther in­vest­ment.

The re­port sug­gests Port Dou­glas re­quires mar­ket re­search which bet­ter un­der­stands cus­tomer pro­files with sim­ple ques­tions, a larger sam­ple size and in mul­ti­ple lan­guages.

Un­der­stand­ing the needs and ex­pec­ta­tions of key mar­kets vis­it­ing Port Dou­glas and tar­get­ing them while also cap­tur­ing the emerg­ing Asian mar­kets will help re­store a pre­mium sta­tus, the re­port claims.

While the main in­ter­na­tional mar­kets for Port Dou­glas are the UK, Europe, New Zealand and the US, vis­i­tor growth has been slow in the past five years and tap­ping into the Chi­nese mar­ket will pro­vide long-term growth and an in­crease in rev­enue, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Man­ag­ing the neg­a­tive per­cep­tions on the cli­mate of the re­gion - the wet sea­son - will also help make the re­gion more com­pet­i­tive by mak­ing the most of as­set fea­tures spe­cific to the wet sea­son which could be sup­ported by or­gan­is­ing a reg­u­lar event to take place from Jan­uary to March.

Other sug­ges­tions in­clude col­lab­o­rat­ing with Moss­man stake­hold­ers to make indige­nous cul­ture a draw­card, de­vel­op­ing an ac­cred­i­ta­tion sys­tem for hos­pi­tal­ity sup­ported by train­ing and de­vel­op­ing a world-class gas­tro­nomic ex­pe­ri­ence fea­tur­ing lo­cal pro­duce.

The re­port called for a com­pre­hen­sive plan for the needs of the tourism in­dus­try to be de­vel­oped which con­sid­ers fac­tors raised in the re­port.

De­vel­op­ing a uni­fied plan and vi­sion across all tourism-re­lated busi­nesses as a ba­sis for decision-mak­ing in mar­ket­ing and in­vest­ments, ap­point­ing a rep­re­sen­ta­tive coun­cil or ac­tion group and con­duct­ing reg­u­lar eval­u­a­tion of the process is vi­tal to re­vi­tal­is­ing Port Dou­glas.

Other ini­tia­tives in­cluded in the Melbourne Busi­ness School’s Re­vi­talise Port Dou­glas will be an­a­lysed in next week’s edi­tion of the

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