|In what can only be described as a blatant act of misjudgement and mismanagement, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree have again demonstrated just how out of touch they are with local Douglas Tourism issues by recently advertising on Melbourne trams.
The advertisements titled, “Fancy a Tropical Break, You and me next weekend” ran through August and September on Melbourne trams with the aim: “To attract affluent Victorians to consider a mini-break in Port Douglas”. This, despite the fact that it’s peak season in Port Douglas and weekend accommodation should be almost non-existent.
However, here is the kicker.
The ads supplied a website URL for a guest to book their “You and Me, Next Weekend Escape www.booking.com/portdouglasbreaks
Seriously! TPDD spending Douglas Shire funding on advertising that promotes Booking.com
Has TPDD not heard or read the furore in Port Douglas over the damage that the OTA’s are doing, the near $20 million p.a. that has been siphoned out of the town with Booking.com the main culprit! Did they not see the Dick Smith advertising or the newspaper or media articles on this very subject.
Have they not listened or understood the point that OTA’s are damaging our local economy and that by 2020 their market share will probably be at least 70% of all bookings with an inflated 15% minimum commission charge. EO of TPDD Tara Bennett in May attended a meeting where over 20 Port Douglas resort owners expressed their personal concerns over the damage being caused by OTA’s. Flying in the face of this concern, TPDD proceeds with this advertising.
Every time someone in Melbourne booked through that link, it not only cost Port Douglas Tourism the cost of the advertising but the Resort 15% in booking commissions !
When questioned yesterday about the success of the campaign, Jamie Boreham of the SJ Media Group said that whilst he had no specific statistical information he believed the campaign was a success. Sorry Jamie and TPDD, its 2018, and professionals measure these sorts of promotional events for return of investment.
Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, follow the link @ www.booking.com/portdouglasbreaks it takes you to a list of Resort Properties. Top if the list is the Sheraton Mirage Resort. Their General Manager, Steve Molnar also serves as a Director for TPDD. We are not suggesting there is anything underhand here but it begs the question why Directors such as Steve are exposed by unprofessionalism and a lack of due diligence before proceeding.
Now Tourism Port Douglas Daintree clearly has its own website for such a promotion. In fact over the past 2 years TPDD have spent over $100,000 on their website; however, the site is incapable of satisfying Tourist Customer expectations in 2018 of a search>compare>select>book>and pay facility.
Promoting the Booking.com implies that TPDD has a stubborn belief that there is no Tourist Customer expectation of that “book and pay” functionality requirement.
Douglas ONE Tourism is highlighting this case as another clear example of why Douglas Tourism urgently needs a professional, transparent commercial tourism body with the highest calibre CEO at the helm.
We need to prevent embarrassing episodes described above, from happening again.
Change is needed urgently.
Gerry Ireland & Glenn Smith
Port Douglas Direct
Douglas ONE Tourism
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