Tourism exchange positive
LOCAL businesses and operators who ventured to Perth for the Australian Tourism Exchange have come back with positive feedback and outlooks.
Shantara Resort manager Marianna Bonomi said there were not as many buyers or sellers as previous years but it gave everyone a chance to have their say and find out what Douglas can do to improve its product.
“We need to make sure we have got the product to suit the market and keep looking at western markets, the UK, US, Europe and Canada,” she said.
“The buyers were saying people do go into Cairns but a lot of the European markets are now diverting traffic back to Port Douglas and seeing the significance of being close to the rainforest and reef.
“Not only that we are a relaxation destination where people can wind down and enjoy the village atmosphere - there was positive feedback and they definitely want to come back to Port Douglas.
“The main comment we are expensive as a destination, Australia in general, and if we can overcome that and give good quality product service - it’s about value for money and an experience of a lifetime is well worth paying that little bit more.”
The Walker Brothers also attended the ATE with Tourism Tropical North Queensland to promote cultural heritage tourism and Juan Walker said there was still some concern over past weather events affecting the tourism industry in the area.
“The agents were a little worried about cyclones and storms we’ve had over the last few years and just talking to them and letting them know we’re back in operation and everything’s back to normal, the feedback was pretty good,” he said.
“There’s a big market for cultural heritage tourism and a lot of room to grow in that area, this was the first time I was there as an artist this year and not doing all the talking.
“I made some really good contacts and friends and will get some really good business from it, it’s definitely worth it as an operator.”
Phillip Newman was at the ATE representing the newly opened Mossman Gorge Centre and said his product was well received.
“It was received exceptionally well especially with the indigenous side of it, to have a new experience in this part of the country everyone was excited about that,” he said.
“There’s a great feeling out there and with all new bits and pieces in Port Douglas and refurbishments like with QT, it’s sending a positive message out to the market we’re not asleep, things are happening.”