TTNQ’s new CEO
LOCAL stakeholders have welcomed the apointment of incoming Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive Alex de Waal, who will take up his position in January.
Executive officer of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree Doug Ryan said the appointment of Mr de Waal will be very beneficial to the region.
‘‘I knew Alex when he was working some years ago for Tourism Queensland, and he’s well respected in the industry and well credentialled ,’’ Mr Ryan said.
‘‘ He’ll fit into this important position very well, and I’m looking forward to working very closely with Alex.’’
However the push by some tourism industry heavyweights to open up new international and domestic markets, to seek more funding and to rebrand TTNQ, was met with more caution.
Mr Ryan agrees that the most important issue is to secure greater funding.
‘‘ That’s the most pressing matter, as we can’t be equal players in a very competitive market place without increased funding,’’ Mr Ryan said.
Reaction of local industry identities was not as favourable to a push by some big players to scrap the Tropical North Queensland brand in favour of the Great Barrier Reef.
The Daintree Marketing Co- Op and JungleSurfing’s Sheena Walshaw believes the diversity of the area is vital to the increasing tourist numbers from both domestic and international markets.
‘‘It’s an age old argument, and I can understand the reasons behind the Great Barrier Reef brand, particularly on the international market,’’ Ms Walshaw said.
‘‘However, to simply refer to our region as a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef does the area a disservice, given the highly accessible and diverse landscape that abounds in the area.’’
There’s also a feeling that there are pitfalls to a brand change.
‘‘We need consistency in our marketing, and the TNQ brand has worked well,’’ Mr Ryan said.
‘‘In fact,concentrating on Western markets as we do, Port Douglas has outperformed the remainder of TNQ, and indeed all Queensland, in visitation and visitor numbers.
‘‘While we should be keen to break into new markets, it should not be at the expense of our tradional markets of the UK, Europe, and the USA.’’
Mr de Waal takes up his position in January.
RESPECTED: Alex de Waal