A constantly changing market


The Yarra River Precinct is undoubtedly one of Melbourne’s most successful tourism and hospitality destinations, but our business community cannot rest on its laurels. The consumer market is constantly changing. While the location and ambience is always a key factor, an equally important ingredient to success is keeping-up with consumer needs and wants. Our next business lunch, on Wednesday, April 3, is dedicated to understanding a little more about “The New Consumer”. We have gathered a panel of influential young speakers to participate in a lively Q&A session. They embrace the areas of retail, hospitality and accommodation and are all at the cutting edge of digital communication. The needs of the millennial generation are quite different, the way they purchase things is different and the way they consume goods and services is very different. It will be a fascinating discussion, matched by an excellent lunch at Eureka 89. Our lunches are open to everyone, including residents. In fact, we value the opportunity for our business leaders to sit alongside those who call Southbank home. Simply head to www.yarrariver.melbourne/lunch to book your online ticket, or phone our executive officer on 0412 502 931 for more information For years, the talk about the demise of hard copy promotional brochures has been heard, but the business association has again released its annual guide Discover Melbourne’s Waterfront. It is now in its 15th year of production and remains one of the most popular brochures picked up in hotels and information centres across greater Melbourne and regional Victoria. This year we welcome Port Phillip Ferries as our major sponsor of the publication. For Southbankers, the daily ferry trips across the bay from Harbour Esplanade, Docklands to Portarlington is a great way to spend a day or weekend away. We are moving towards the end of the trading season for Arbory Afloat and once again I congratulate the HQ Group for another outstanding season of trading and activation of the lower Yarra River. Richard Shelmerdine and Tim Botterill took up the challenge a few years ago to run a floating food and beverage venue and each season they have worked hard to provide a new look and feel to it. This year, Parks Victoria will award three-year contracts for on-water activation, which may result in anything from floating yoga classes to other interesting food and beverage offerings. We wait with great anticipation to see what creative and innovative ideas come forward from the private sector. Soon to be resolved will be the berthing rights for river boat operators on the lower Yarra. The 10-year licences being offered may see some new players arrive and, hopefully, provide more security of tenure for existing operators, so that they can invest in their product with greater confidence. You may have noticed the new hire boat operators on the river, Go Boat and On a Boat. They join with association member Melbourne Boat Hire to provide another means of enjoying the city from the water. There have been some initial hiccups regarding self-hirers not understanding the rules of the waterway, but we trust that the operators will work hard to sort out the problems before becoming a source of friction with other river users.   John Forman President

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