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Editions

A new perspective

31 Jul 2014

A new perspective Image

According to Luca De-Pasquale, the key to attracting more tourists to Docklands lies in accessibility, promotion of the area and infrastructure.

Currently writing a thesis on the area, the 23-year-old student has spent the past three months investigating Docklands.

Studying a masters in tourist destination management in the Netherlands, Mr De-Pasquale first encountered Docklands when visiting Melbourne for a field work research trip with his class.

After hearing a presentation from the Yarra River Business Association’s Tim Bracher and the Mission to Seafarer’s Bill Reid about Melbourne’s waterfront, he became intrigued by the area.

“It’s very unique and so many questions came up in my mind,” Mr De-Pasquale said.

“The thing that interested me the most is that there’s not much literature or studies about it and the possibilities to promote the area, especially for tourists but also for locals.”

He decided to focus his thesis around recommendations and advice on attracting tourists to Docklands.

“My study is very objective and international. It’s an international view, which is an advantage and disadvantage,” he said.

Since May, Mr De-Pasquale has spent time researching the area and meeting with local stakeholders.

“I have the feeling that everyone likes to think about good plans (for Docklands) but there isn’t a main body that will actually carry it out,” Mr De-Pasquale said.

“There may be too many stakeholders trying to achieve something positive but maybe in a confusing way.”

According to Mr De-Pasquale developing water transport is one way to capture tourists’ attention.

“It’s unacceptable for me that a big city like Melbourne, with four million inhabitants doesn’t have stable, public water transport,” he said.

If and when a local ferry service is developed, Mr De-Pasquale said it would benefit Docklands directly and indirectly.

“If some one wants to take a trip down the river, they will have to go to NewQuay, and it’s totally different from the water, it’s an amazing view.

“I don’t think it (the ferry) is the key, but it would be one of the main factors to help Docklands grow, especially from a tourism perspective,” Mr De-Pasquale.

According to Mr De-Pasquale, another focus should be developing infrastructure to attract tourists.

“There needs to be an attraction, perhaps a museum, it doesn’t have to be huge, just something to give people a reason to go there,” Mr De-Pasquale said.

For Mr De-Pasquale, who lives on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, the pace of development in Docklands is astonishing.

“I come from Europe, where it’s very slow to grow. For me it’s crazy to look at the aerial view from 2000 in Docklands and now 14 years later it’s huge,” he said.

“I can only imagine what it will be in 14 years from now.”

Ultimately, he believes Docklands is bound for success from a tourism perspective.

“I think in the end it will be a really successful area in the future.”

“Many people don’t understand that Docklands is still a work in progress. It takes time for a destination to become a solid attraction.”

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