Port Douglas can be everything: TPDD
EXECUTIVE officer of Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree Tara Bennett has come to the defence of the notion the region can have a multi faceted approach to the tourism market.
“Laid-back is not backward – future investment and infrastructure that enhances and expresses the character of our region will strengthen our position as an aspirational destination attracting visitors from around the world,” said Ms Bennett.
Speaking in response to outgoing Douglas Chamber of Commerce president Helen De Ross’ comments about Port Douglas needing to pick between laid-back and premium, Ms Bennett rubbished the claims and said that Port Douglas could, and did have everything for everyone.
“The Douglas region is living proof that a destination can develop a strong high end brand that attracts well-heeled visitors from around the world while preserving the laid back, tropical character that drew people to the region initially,” said Ms Bennett.
“The two go hand-in-hand, quite the opposite to the picture put forward by the Douglas Chamber of Commerce outgoing president Helen De Ross last week.”
In the last week Ms De Ross had said laid-back and premium aspirations created an identity crisis that if not overcome would hold back the region, but Ms Bennett strongly disagrees.
“Mass infrastructure and expansion do not make a premium brand – exceptional authentic experiences do, and to suggest otherwise displays a clear disconnect from the tour- ism industry world.”
Ms Bennett said there was no separation between a laid back destination and a highend one.
“The travel industry around the world sends their high end clients to our region for the combination of our laid back tropical lifestyle with access to world class tourism facilities and our spectacular natural environment.”
Ms Bennett said the significant investment over the past two years was testimony to the premium appeal of the destination, and that it wouldn’t undo the relaxed nature of the area because of the guardianship of the Douglas Shire Council.
“The Douglas Shire town planning scheme has been an important part of the success, providing for policy that is steeped in our community’s aspirations.
“Widespread development which replicates what other parts of our region already offer will negatively impact the unique appeal and highly regarded reputation of Douglas.” around the
Tara Bennett of TPDD: