Huge growth in in­cen­tive mar­ket

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - TOURISM TALK - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

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.”

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