Huge growth in incentive market
PORT Douglas Incentives is expecting positive flow-on affects after showing key conference and incentive buyers the best of the region and getting involved in a business incentives workshop in recent weeks.
The local industry group’s chairperson Natalie Johnson said for the first time nine top-tier professional conference organising companies from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney jumped at the invitation to get a taste of the Douglas region last week.
“They experienced the best of what Port Douglas has to offer in the conference and incentives market, saw key conference hotels and experienced boutique conference incentives at Thala Beach and Silky Oaks,” she said.
“They experienced off-site events at the Flames of the Forest and Port Douglas Catering on the Sugar Wharf, spent the day on the Great Barrier Reef, saw wildlife parks and had a beautiful brunch down at Hartley’s.
“They had a pre-tour of the Mossman Gorge Gateway facility, which they were very excited about because it hasn’t opened yet and they felt that facility is going to be very popular with conference and incentive clients.”
This is the third-year PDI has hosted this event for key conference and incentive buyers.
“It’s important for Port Douglas to bring people to the destination to experience first-hand what their delegates will experience,” Ms Johnson said.
“This way they can see exactly how long it takes to get there and the experiences they can have here, the quality of hotels and facilities and it makes them walk away more confident about selling the destination.
“The key message from PDI is that 14 companies working together can achieve a fantastic educational for those who came here and prove that working together really does get fantastic results.”
To help strengthen their campaigns, PDI was involved in a recent workshop called Sell TNQ in Cairns hosted by Business Events Cairns and Great Barrier Reef which presented the organisation with a survey outlining key business markets for the region.
“They identified trends and challenges destinations such as Cairns and Port Douglas have and came up with strategies to overcome those particular challenges,” Ms Johnson said.
“They showed us to look outside of the square and be creative in what we do.”
Recent regional results in the Queensland Business Events survey (QBES) also gave the incentives group a greater understanding of target markets in the meeting, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) market.
The results show a growth in the market in the national and international MICE markets and in particular the corporate and incentive markets in Port Douglas.
“These states help us work out our marketing strategy,” Ms Johnson said.
“For example, PDI traditionally advertised in our own industry trade publication but for the first time we are doing a big destination feature in a corporate publication because we know from these stats, these are the people we need to be targeting.
“MICE are the highest yielding demographic - when a corporate company brings 400 people to the destination, if they love it they will return with family or friends for a leisure holiday.”