Trash or treasure? How is Port seen?
A scathing assessment of Port Douglas has been voiced by a reader from London, provoking the question 'How is Port Douglas seen from the outside?'
Last Tuesday, Tim Foster commented on The Newsport article 'Port in crisis as more doors close' (Friday, 11 May 2012), and Mr Foster summed up his views on the seaside town like this:
"Stunning location but like most of regional Australia, the service culture does not exist. It simply is not in the Australian identity to provide a consistantly (sic) HIGH level of service.
"Food is also mediocre/bad if it is not high end. The local pub is a beer soaked boozer - and that is what you would expect, because that IS what people are like there and what they like to do on a Friday night.
"Trying (to) mix that local culture with HIGH-end tourism - it just grates. You can't do it," he wrote of Port Douglas' attempt to recapture its premium destination tag.
But annual Port Douglas visitors Terry and Judy Britain disagree. The well-travelled Sydney couple who began coming to Port Douglas in 1992 say it is unmatched in its beauty and atmosphere.
"We've been right around the world; Paris, Rome, Hawaii, Caracas, Samoa," Terry said.
"Probably one of the closest places to match Port Douglas would be Tahiti. Tahiti is very beautiful, but I think Port Douglas is more beautiful. The landscapes, the people, the township, the restaurants, the ambiance, in everything," he said.
Judy said the town has the ability to cater for everyone and doesn't need to choose a particular target market.
"Port Douglas does it perfectly. You can live up-market, you can be a backpacker, or you can be somewhere in the middle."
Terry agrees; "It doesn't matter how much money you have, people don't care if you're a pauper or a millionaire. You can come up here and be anyone and anything you want to be.
"The restaurants here are some of the best in the world and you've got some of the best chefs in the world. From the five star restaurants to the pie man...to my way of thinking they're all first class."
The passionate pair also spruiked the level of service they receive on their pilgrimage to Port in the town's retail and hospitality outlets.
Their advice on the way forward for Port Douglas - "Keep the place as it is."
So who do you agree with - Tim from London or Terry and Judy from Sydney? Take part in our poll and have your say.