Survey finds high visitor satisfaction on Great Ocean Road

HIGH-INCOME earners enjoy holidaying on the Great Ocean Road, according to a snapshot survey which showed 20 per cent of respondents had annual household incomes of more than $150,000.

Nineteen per cent of the 453 people interviewed were in the $52,000 to $77,999 bracket while 17 per cent were on incomes of $78,000 to $103,999.

The study by Tourism Research Australia was carried out during the Easter weekend at various locations in the Great Ocean Road region. It found Port Fairy and Lorne were the primary destinations.

Eighty per cent of travellers from Victoria while 15 per cent were from interstate and six per cent from overseas.

Almost half the respondents were in a family group and 18 per cent were older working singles or couples, 15 per cent were couples with no children and 12 per cent were older non-working singles or couples. Eighty-seven per cent were return visitors.

Most (92 per cent) stayed overnight with the remaining eight per cent being day visitors — less than the benchmark national average of 28 per cent day visitors.

Great Ocean Road regional tourism board chairman Wayne Kayler-Thomson said the data represented a snapshot of a specific time of the year.

It showed people were very satisfied with their visit, rating highly the attractions, variety of things to see and do, local atmosphere and personal safety, with a quarter saying their experiences were better than expected.

The Great Ocean Road performed better than the benchmark for all satisfaction indicators and most visitors said they were likely to return.

Negative comments were expressed on shopping, food and wine, wildlife, art and culture and water-based activities. 

The internet was the most popular information source and the most common booking method.

Visit Warrnambool was the most-used destination website and accommodation operator websites were rated as the most useful.

Caravan parks or commercial camping grounds were the most popular accommodation venues for the Easter weekend, followed by rental houses.

General sightseeing, going to the beach, eating out and shopping were the most common activities.

Lorne Pier was the most popular destination while Port Fairy, Warrnambool and Tower Hill also rated highly.

Mr Kayler-Thomson said it was the second visitor satisfaction research undertaken in the past few months.

“We must understand visitor aspirations and respond by offering quality experiences, good service and continue to improve and upgrade to meet expectations,” he said.

The first region-wide visitor guide was launched this week, replacing localised guides available under the previous structure of smaller tourism organisations.

“Previously there was overlap with tourists collecting a different visitor guide from each centre,” Mr Kayler-Thomson said.

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