Use it or lose it – it’s good advice for our physical health as we get older, but could just as easily apply to the contract between customers and service providers.
If we don’t frequent our local store, restaurant or service station it’s difficult to complain if they have reduced their opening hours or gone out of business the one time we desperately need to buy milk and bread, fill up the car or grab a meal.
Businesses make operational decisions based on commercial realities. For example, they will choose not to be open at 2 am if they know only one customer wants to come in at that time or to offer home delivery if it means employing someone full time for what amounts to only one hour of work to make a handful of drop-offs.
Therefore, as service offerings grow in step with our city’s expansion, we must decide as a community what their value is to us and whether we want to support them in order to keep them.
An example is the introduction of international flights to Canberra. From May, the ACT will have 14 international flights a week with Singapore and Qatar Airways now both flying daily from Canberra.
Direct international connections create significant opportunities for our region – ranging from convenience and time savings for local travellers, through to increased potential for business networking and exporting, and bringing more international visitors to our city. Naturally, this also opens up more accessible holiday international destinations for CBR Region residents.
Economically the second two will contribute to our local region in ways that will trickle down through our community as a whole, such as increased employment and emergence of new businesses.
The positive impact on international tourism of bringing the world closer to Canberra through direct flights cannot be underestimated.
Last year, the ACT had record numbers of international visitors and expenditure. Numbers of international tourists coming to Canberra increased nearly 17 per cent.
Now we have been named the third best city in the world to visit by Lonely Planet, Canberra will be on even more tourists’ wish lists.
The easier it is to come to the ACT and the more widely in turn its charms are promoted, the higher these numbers will rise.
Direct flights in both directions have to be well-utilised to enable airlines to make the commercial decision to include Canberra on their destination list.
Therefore, our region’s travellers – both business and holiday – need to rally behind direct flights and use them whenever feasible.
When it comes to connecting Canberra to the rest of the world, our community has the power to help ensure losing it is not an option.