Time to start the fightback
A SMALL business operator wants to lead the charge in the switch from “survival” to “fightback” mode with an information forum to bring together tour desks and niche tourism products.
Dan Smith from Akoonah Angling is taking the first step and looking at ways to better improve time-efficiency and customer service between his business and tour desks.
One call too many from an accommodation tour desk asking a question found in his brochure prompted Mr Smith into action to find ways to improve efficiency.
“I spent a lot of time and money marketing to make sure my brochure has all the information the client and tour desk operators could ask,” he said.
“We’re coming into peak season and could improve services to both operators and clients simply by having the tour desk operators more informed.
“This is not only for my motivation, I’ve been on the phone to other operators and one tour mentioned tour desks had booked a man with a hip replacement onto a 4WD tour and he was left out.”
One idea is to organise a get together with business operators and tour desks/accommodation for an information night.
“We could give each business 10 minutes to tell everyone what their business is about and what their niche market is,” Mr Smith said.
“At the end of the day it would be better for the tour desks, better for the clients and better for us small operators - we don’t have the luxury to employ people to market our product.”
Destination Cairns Marketing (DCM) owns 100 tour desks in the Cairns region and director Denis Donaghy said he would get behind the idea.
“If the desk involved imparts information that’s going to make the guest enjoyment of the area much better they’re likely to return to that desk,” he said.
“I’d be happy to talk with small business and get our sales people to talk to them and figure out if there’s some common ground we can help each other.”
Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce president Ken Dobbs said the idea is possible through both PDCC and Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree as part of their economic development initiative.
TPPD executive officer Doug Ryan said his organisation would definitely help organise the event
small business owner Dan Smith and Erin Menzie to get everyone together for an information session.
He said the best thing for small operators is to organise a marketing plan so they do not rely solely on tour desk operators to sell their business.
“I’m happy to help them with that, happy to sit down and do a marketing plan and if anyone out there wants advice on that,” he said.
“It’s difficult for small business but the number one way to sell your business is to take agents out on a famil, they can see it and experience it.”
If you are interested in getting involved in an information session register with Dan Smith dan@ akoonahangling.com and for more information about developing a market plan with TPDD contact 4099 4588.
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