For the past couple of weeks that’s the question one local cafe owner has been asking visitors from Europe who have been coming into his cafe and the answer in almost every case is the same.
“We didn’t know about this place till we got off the plane in Brisbane.”
Surely that says only one thing … Hervey Bay is missing out because most people already have their trips and itinerary planned before they get here. They don’t know about us as they plan their Australian holiday so they don’t come here.
Sure, there may be some marketing for Hervey Bay at Brisbane airport but that’s way too late for most people. We need to be doing more to reach out to the European market … and it wouldn’t take much to tap into that European market.
Here in Hervey Bay we already have a rich heritage of Danish settlement … so what are we doing to attract Danish tourists? The Danes are not poor and they do travel so why not encourage them to come here to enjoy the unique beauty of Hervey Bay?
Have we ever done anything to establish a sister city relationship with any comparable city in Denmark? Have we even bothered to do something as simple as take out some advertising in Danish newspapers?
Why aren’t we encouraging the French and the Germans to come here too? We have so much to offer them and yet we’re just not interested. We’d rather try and hitch a ride on the coattails of Brisbane, and other areas that are prepared to market themselves to the world.
We don’t have to spend large amounts of money …we don’t have to employ expensive marketing firms … we can start small and there are people here in town who have the ideas that will work. Unfortunately Council doesn’t seem to want to listen to them.
It’s all well and good for Council to have great plans for the development of Hervey Bay and Maryborough but if we don’t start doing a better job of promoting what we already have those plans probably won’t develop into anything more than another cloud of hot air!