The impact of tourism on a region can be both positive and negative.
People want to see their town prosper.
In the case of Derby it’s a complete reinvention.
Like many small towns around the state, Derby’s history dates back to mining.
But like those other towns – think Zeehan – the town lost its idenity with the mining boom drawing to a close.
That’s until the grand reinvention. Derby is now one of the mountain bike capitals of the world.
The town has already hosted the sport’s world championships and will do so again in 2019.
The tracks are on numerous must-visit lists for anyone that enjoys a ride.
Derby is to mountain bike riding is what Barnbougle is to golf.
The great outcomes of this new identity for Derby is the locals.
Opportunities have opened up for those with small businesses – whether it be retail, accommodation, hospitality or tours.
And all of Northern Tasmania, if not all of Tassie, benefits from Derby’s latest rise.
But then there are the downfalls of the increase in tourism.
It’s fair to say the majority of the 173 people who choose to live at Derby do so for the lifestyle.
The slower pace of life, the intimate relationships compared to city living, and seeking that peace that only their Derby can offer.
The Dorset Council is busy upgrading infrastructure around Derby for both residents and the 30,000 people who visit each year.
As Dorset Council general manager Tim Watson said, many towns would envy the problems of Derby.
As he acknowledged, that shouldn’t be the answer to any issues. It’s important there is a good balance between improving the tourist experience and the lifestyle of residents.
Derby is a fascinating tale of a town not setting limits.
It’s great to see all levels of government and the community create and react to the changes with logic and vision.