Tourism ex­change pos­i­tive

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

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.”

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