Op­por­tu­nity PD

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

THERE has been much dis­cus­sion on the Melbourne Busi­ness School Port Re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion project.

Ir­re­spec­tive of the specifics of the re­port, it has pro­vided a cat­a­lyst for dis­cus­sion and re­assess­ment for our busi­ness com­mu­nity.

We now have a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity, par­tic­u­larly with fresh lo­cal and state agen­das cre­at­ing a new po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment, to re­view what are we do­ing re­ally well and want to keep do­ing, what is no longer rel­e­vant and what new things do we need to do to carry us for­ward to where we want to be in the long term.

I firmly be­lieve we are al­ready do­ing many things well but there are some ar­eas, pointed out in the re­port, that are fall­ing through the cracks.

These is­sues may well not be part of the nat­u­ral role of our tourism body or even our Cham­ber of Com­merce.

As a first step, we need to agree on a clear over­ar­ch­ing vi­sion for our com­mu­nity of where and what we want to be in the long term.

Hav­ing a "shared vi­sion" and speak­ing with "one voice" was the over­rid­ing mes­sage from the re­port.

To do this we must work to­gether to­wards some­thing we can all be­lieve in with pas­sion.

We may not be in agree­ment yet on ex­actly how to achieve these big picture goals, but we can quickly kick­start the process with some early wins ad­dress­ing some of the "low hang­ing fruit" such as fre­quently cited bug­bears - the eye­sore of the me­tal stairs on the point above the beach, the lack of or in­ap­pro­pri­ate sig­nage in var­i­ous parts of town, and achiev­ing a co­he­sive sim­ple to use web pres­ence for our des­ti­na­tion are just a few ex­am­ples.

Fi­nally, a key is­sue in the re­port iden­ti­fies the chal­lenge of "mas­si­fi­ca­tion".

In­creas­ing sup­ply of accommodation, tours or re­tail with­out keep­ing the iconic, eclec­tic char­ac­ter of Port is self-de­struc­tive to ev­ery­thing we need to flour­ish as a town.

It de­grades our im­age, our life­style and ul­ti­mately our econ­omy.

By con­trast, when we cre­ate great busi­nesses that are em­pa­thetic with the char­ac­ter of Port and help share our fab­u­lous trop­i­cal life­style with more peo­ple, we add to the vir­tu­ous cy­cle of en­hanc­ing our im­age, our rep­u­ta­tion and the ex­pe­ri­ence we give to our guests.

More im­por­tantly and ul­ti­mately, it does the same for us as res­i­dents of this spe­cial place.

The an­ti­dote to mas­si­fi­ca­tion is to cel­e­brate suc­cesses and the in­her­ent char­ac­ter and life­style we love in Port.

To the newly launched QT - I salute you.

You have done a fab­u­lous job and I hope the en­ergy you have brought is in­fec­tious to other Port busi­nesses.

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