More Mismanagement from TPDD
It’s time for some answers here but our guess is that no one at TPDD at this time fully understands the situation.
Douglas Shire Council has been for the past 12 years “donated” for the want for a better word, over $400,000 of taxpayer dollars to Tourism Port Douglas Daintree.
The accounts for 17/18 delivered at the AGM of TPDD this past week show that the organisation has spent over $100,000 over the past 24 months on its website, www.visitportdouglasdaintree.com
Also in the same annual report there are statistics that no marketeer would be proud of, the website visits over the past 24 months have plummeted near on 30% for the but over the past 12 months 25%. The domestic market has fell 40% and the only mention of it at the AGM was to blame Tripadvisor
The loss of website audience parallels the same pattern of loss of overnight visitors to the region. It would be lovely to say this is just a coincidence. But it’s not – the two go hand in hand. Website visitation drop equals tourist figures drop.
The TPDD website is failing local business and communities.
Yes, the website carries pretty pictures and random news items. But how is it working to facilitate tourism in the Port Douglas Daintree region? Does it lead the visitor easily to a map of where accommodation can be searched, booked and paid? Does the website allow the visitor to plan a holiday? No. The website does none of these things, so it’s little wonder that the website is failing and that the OTAs continue to plunder the town by having first class, efficient, engaging, up-to-date websites. And they do so right under the noses of the organisation paid to build tourism in our region. Go figure!
But it gets worse !
The website technology where all this investment has been placed is now approaching the end of its life. The website, www.visitportdouglasdaintree.com, has been built using Adobe Catalyst. This technology for the past three years this has walked around with the “dead duck” notice hung on its neck. So the question needs to be asked why was this proprietary platform chosen and who made the decision ? Earlier this year, Adobe put the technology out of its misery by announcing “product end of life” in early 2019.
At the AGM, no mention was made of the redundant website technology. Someone is being taken for a ride. Maybe it’s TPDD by the website development company, or it’s the Douglas Shire taxpayers by TPDD.
Questions need to be answered and individuals need to be made accountable before the next round of reckless spend by the team at TPDD because it’s totally obvious from the flawed website technology and approach that decisions are being made without the best advice possible.
Long before the above disasters were unveiled all industry opinion was conclusive the websites direction and functionality needed to be changed. The website needs to engage the visitor, it needs to assist the visitor and it has to after the booking drive and manage the visitors holiday. It needs to be monetised !
Like everything answers are needed here and we suspect not only from Port Douglas Direct but when Douglas Shire Council catches up during the next 6 months and gets wind of this reckless spend of our Tourism Marketing $
Yes indeed, changes need to be made at technology and decision-making levels. Will TPDD provide do these things willingly, or will local tourism operators insist that their local Shire Council demand changes by TPDD?