Steady as she goes for TPDD?

Thursday 12 April 2012

Steady as she goes for TPDD?

Identified as one of the key players in shaping the future prosperity of Port Douglas, the town's residents will wait expectantly to see how Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree respond to the Melbourne Business School's recommendations.

TPDD chairman Gordon Wellham said his board is waiting on the MBS Steering Committee (made up of representatives of local associations) to deliver their overview of the MBS findings before the local tourism body dissects the final report.

"The ball is in the court of the Steering Committee, that's where it is at the present," he said.

"They're looking at it to give an overview, look for any factual errors or inconsistencies, this is my understanding from what I inferred from the meeting (31 March presentation from MBS) and that's where we as a board are leaving it at this stage."

Mr Wellham said he believes tasks will be divided up amongst the town's authorities and groups, but acknowledged TPDD and the Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce are major stakeholders in the process.

"It's no use them (the Chamber of Commerce) having a terrific product called Port Douglas and its attractions, and no one sells it if TPDD is not doing its (job) good.

"Conversely, (progress won't be made) if TPDD is out there with a terrific marketing plan but the product is not up to scratch.

"Wrapped around that is Council and other stakeholders who have all got a role in the infrastructure, in the look, the feel, the appearance of the town."

Mr Wellham reiterated TPDD's executive officer Doug Ryan's words saying the two organisations have never worked so closely.

"We've pretty much got that united vision, united voice that Selwyn (MBS Associate Professor Selwyn D'Souza) talked about, but we've just got to get into the detail now. How do we translate that into action?"


He was confident that TPDD were already doing much of the work that the MBS had recommended as part of their findings.

"The board hasn't pored over the document, however, what we do know is that we're already doing most of it.

"The document, MBS outcome, was written in many aspects as though we weren't doing some of these things. We are in the markets they're talking about for instance.

"I think we're already doing most of what they've suggested we do. I don't know whether they were voicing that as a blinding revelation that they've discovered, or whether they're just reinforcing, in many aspects, it's steady as she goes for TPDD.

"That's reflected in our business plan, our marketing strategy, our finance plan, it's all interwoven to do, in many instances, what that study has suggested."

Mr Wellham said without their efforts, the 6% per annum decline in local tourism identified by the MBS could have been much higher.

"What if we weren't pushing as hard as we're pushing? It might be minus 12%, it might be minus 15%.

"Just because we're sliding backwards it doesn't mean we're doing everything wrong particularly since our decline has been less than just about everyone else."

He said it was important for TPDD to continue to align itself with large tourism bodies such as Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Tourism Queensland to maximise the effectiveness of their $600,000 budget, and highlighted the return of $22 million in publicity for the region created from a relatively small budget.

Mr Wellham said TPDD will continue to review their organisation in order to improve their effectiveness, and extended an invitation to the public to submit ideas to TPDD in ways to improve the promotion of the region.

Meanwhile, the Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce will meet on Monday to discuss the release of the full report to the public.

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