We need to play our tourism draw card properly when COVID-19 is over: Carol Phayer

by | Apr 18, 2020 | Opinion | 0 comments

With every bad situation, good things can be found.

I thought a clean house, rearranged rooms and cupboards would be more pleasurable, but all it did was reaffirm my belief that over tidy homes, ones devoid of any form of life are really boring.

The real benefit from these strange days is found by taking stock of our lives and what is important. I hope that we realise that the pursuit of being super rich is not everything. When it comes to health and security we all face the same issues.

As a society we do need to look after our less fortunate people, and we really need to start investing in mental health programs with early intervention and support. This will also free up our prisons, reduce crime and lower the appalling rate of domestic violence.

But as a business owner, I know we are always looking at ways to keep our businesses open and for new opportunities, as we struggle through this difficult period of no income but still trying to pay our bills to ensure we will be able to ride out this storm.

Carol Phayer.

I really hope that our government, opposition (whoever that might be) councils and government departments and businesses can work together to plan our future directions, because there will be opportunities that will arise and if we are smart and work together we could actually plan a very rosy future for the Territory.

Once we get through all the necessary measures we need to take to get over the C19 period, we then need to respond to the new world.

We will see thousands of people who normally escape the southern winter by boarding cruise ships each year consider new ways to chase the sun. People will be wary of international travel for quite a while and the cost of international travel could sky-rocket for a time. People will also feel less reluctant to visit large cities.

In an ideal world I would like to see a truce for a year where we all work together to do what is right for the NT, that paves the way for a bright future. Because we can do it and it is achievable.

So, with all those ingredients in place, we are in a perfect position to plan and develop the perfect approach.

Tourism, if done right, is one of the best long-term sustainable industries that supports local communities with jobs and income. If we act together we can really make this happen with more eco-tourism, not just high end tourism, but also affordable tourism.

Our indigenous communities could really benefit from this, as people genuinely want to understand indigenous culture, this could create jobs in communities in tours, art and accommodations.

Our fishing is some of the best in the world and if we manage it and our water-ways properly, we could reap the rewards.

The big thing that these challenging times have taught is, especially with the public service, is that the endless time-wasting meetings and reports are not necessary.

I have been critical of the Department of Tourism for many years as there is such little dialogue with the people at the coalface of tourism. The department spends way too much time, energy and resources on reports that no one really reads and forums that hardly anyone in the industry attends.

There are always good people in all the departments and good things do get done, but they are also bogged down with waste and bad management.  I may be being a bit too harsh but as a business owner for over 30 years, I know you would never survive if you had waste or useless activities in your business.

It is a shame, in a way, that we have an election coming up as I do not think we have the stomach for listening to adversarial campaigning.

In an ideal world I would like to see a truce for a year where we all work together to do what is right for the NT, that paves the way for a bright future. Because we can do it and it is achievable.

Carol Phayer is a local artist and small business owner.

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