Castletown’s commercial existence has, for over 100 years, relied on the existence of the Naval Base (now Portland Port). Its brief flirt with the diving tourist industry in the early part of this century occurred more by chance than design and without any serious planning or investment was never going to compete within an increasingly sophisticated and professional market for very long.
The Naval Base, these days, is an entirely different enterprise. Owned by Portland Port Ltd, a subsidiary of Langham Industries, and operated as a commercial enterprise, it will never offer the scale of transient business to the immediate area as when the fleet came in for a day or two and thousands of hungry and thirsty sailors disembarked.
Castletown will always benefit from its proximity to Portland Port, whatever commercial enterprises might be carried out there, but such benefit should be considered as supplementary as it is unlikely to be of sufficient volume to facilitate growth in Castletown.
Essentially, Castletown needs to re-invent itself and identify a purpose – a niche – in the market that it can focus on and pursue.
But what could Castletown’s ‘niche’ or vision be? As a support service or facility to the Naval Base (Portland Port) it is likely to be small scale. Generally, it doesn’t have much in the way of infrastructure or facilities to offer. Or does it?
Let’s consider (but with a positive attitude) what we do have and, with a little initiative, cooperation and investment what, additionally, we might have.
We now have:
In fact it would appear that Castletown has a very solid foundation on which to build a tourism infrastructure. The Vision for Castletown is to see it once again as a vibrant, busy little commercial centre offering 3 main attractions:
A scuba diving tourist facility
An American attraction
including aTourist Information Centre
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