Less is more in fight for FIFO

The Qantaslink network could hold untapped resources for our region's tourism industry (click to enlarge)

It's what we don't have that makes us special - That's the view of Poseidon Sailaway's Steve Edmondson who is working hard to promote the region to the Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) mining employee market.

Mr Edmondson has been in discussions with the editor of 'Spirit - Regional Australia,' the inflight magazine for Qantas' regional carrier QantasLink which services many mining locations, in an effort to highlight the benefits of taking a break in Port Douglas.

"It's probably the angle we need to look at. They've got another Tropical North Queesnland special later in the year and that's the one I'll do a lot more with," he said.

"I'd like to think the tourism bodies would put some money in to focus on that market."

Mr Edmondson said that mining resource employees could spend their break with their families and friends recouperating and relaxing in our unique environment. 

"Like we've seen in the growth in the wedding market we want people to come for four or five days. 

"Because we're out of the mining area in a geographic position, that's an ideal audience, they've got money and they've got one or two weeks off."

Mr Edmondson said the spotlight should be on what Port Douglas doesn't have in an effort to attract the FIFO market.

"If you want to buy a washing machine or change a tire go to Cairns. This is where you feel a bit of ambience and go to chill out, otherwise you're just the same as everywhere else.

"What we're trying to do is identify our differences. '10 things we don't have in Port Douglas,' I quite like that."

He said that the national network of flights which carry mining employees is a market which has yet to be capatised on by the State's tourism bodies. 

"No tourism association is doing this. We want to innovate something which we think will be useful in the bigger picture.

"We can't stop it (mining) or change it but we can wake up and think maybe we can turn it on its head. We can all benefit from having our regional (tourism) bodies or Tourism Queensland putting their marketing budget into that, as a channel for the domestic market. 

"The biggest problem we have is the domestic market and that's what we can turn around. 

"China won't make any difference to us. It will be just another great little independent market, they'll seek us out and they'll be welcome, but we're getting eaten alive by Cairns."

Story by Newsport