Thursday, October 21, 2010

Do as I say, Not do as I do

The credibility of a Regional Tourism Organization  can be judged by many factors:
the credibility of its management and directors;
increasing membership;
attendance numbers at meetings; and most importantly,
honesty,  integrity, and 'playing by the rules' with not only its members, but also members of the public.

Rules are made to:
draw a line between behaviour which is classed as acceptable, and unacceptable;
decrease opportunities for nepotism and corruption;
create a level playing field for everyone, without favouritism.

The main reason I did not renew my membership with Tourism Whitsundays was that it appeared that there was a small group ('The Crowd') who wanted to 'run the show' themselves . . . a small group who would encourage other members money, but not other members company.

I got the impression that 'The Crowd' thought that they were 'a law unto themselves', and practiced a 'Do as I say, not do as I do' policy, of which we saw an example recently, with the 'Wharf Wars' between Cruise Whitsundays* and Fantasea at Abel Point.

So, where am I going with this?

If you are a member of Tourism Whitsundays, you will get the monthly newsletter (by email) called 'Sea News'. Under 'Opportunities', members are invited to advertise on - the official website for Tourism Whitsundays. The only rule stipulated for advertising on the official website is that there is a 'Limit of 2 web pages per business per month . . .' This rule was probably originally intended to:
* ensure that no rogue operator ambushed the site with advertisements;
* not give the impression that Tourism Whitsundays is sponsored by a particular organization;
* not give preferential treatment to certain members.

Cruise Whitsundays is owned by the Chairman of Tourism Whitsundays, Mr Chris Jacobs. On the Tourism Whitsundays website, I found five advertisements for Cruise Whitsundays (click caption to visit that page):

How to Get Here

Whitehaven Beach

Water Based

Great Barrier Reef
Airlie Beach

If I was a member of  TW and also provided Water Based services to Airlie Beach, the Great Barrier Reef, Whitehaven Beach, and Transfers around the islands, I would be pretty peeved that not only my competitor was breaking the rules, but also that breaking these rules is condoned by TW (otherwise the advertisements wouldn't be there).

But this isn't an isolated incident . . . . TW also break the rules again on its website with three advertisements from 'Island Gateway Holiday Park, Airlie Beach', with ads on these pages:
Surrounding Areas
Frequently Asked Questions
Shute Harbour

How can you trust an organization that won't play fairly with its own members?

*Cruise Whitsundays abandoned Airlie Beach main st on Sunday, closing its Ticketing Office doors for the last time.

Tourism Whitsundays

No comments: