2015 Whale Watch Survey Released by UQ
Results from a 2015 whale watching survey conducted by the University of Queensland (UQ) have been released, with positive results for the Fraser Coast.
Administered by Dr Aaron Tkaczynski from the UQ Business School, the survey was completed from August to October 2015 on three Hervey Bay whale watch vessels. With 1,024 survey responses, Dr Tkaczynski said the results indicated encouraging findings for the Fraser Coast whale watching operators, and the region.
"The study UQ conducted on the Fraser Coast gave great insight for operators going into future whale watching seasons. "We noted that guests found customer service was high and the majority left with positive affirmations after their experiences. "Guests intentions to repurchase could have been higher, however the number of people that travelled from overseas for a 'once in a lifetime' trip was very high, potentially accounting for this," said Dr Tkaczynski.
Tas Webber, Tourism and Events Manager for Fraser Coast Opportunities said the results of this new research were pleasing. "The date shows a large cross section of demographics on whale watching trips, however the biggest audience were between 25 and 34, and travelling with a spouse and/or a family. 76% of these visitors had never been whale watching in Hervey Bay, indicating our marketing campaigns are pulling visitors in from outside the region."
Of the 1,024 respondents, 38.4% of guests were from Queensland, 11.9% from New South Wales, 8.8% from Victoria and 26.3% from overseas - mostly Europe. The survey also showed that guests were staying 2-3 nights in region on average.
"We are promoting our region in Europe through our Australia's Nature Coast marketing campaign and the results continue to reinforce that those efforts are providing dividends," said Mr Webber.
Jill Perry, owner of Hervey Bay Whale Watch said it was great to have some new insights into the 2015 season.
"Although we know roughly where our own guests are coming from, who they are and how old they are, it is helpful to have an in depth survey that covers the Fraser Coast whale watching fleet."
For more information on things to do around the Fraser Coast, head to visitfrasercoast.com.au.