Apr 272014

Media release from JCU

A survey about community wellbeing and tourism in Airlie Beach is about to close, and researchers are urging local residents to participate and share their thoughts.
Airlie Beach From The Air. Photo: F. Delventhal/Creative Commons

Airlie Beach From The Air. Photo: F. Delventhal/Creative Commons

The study is being conducted by Elena Konovalov, a PhD student at JCU’s School of Business, as part of her PhD research under the supervision of Associate Professor Laurie Murphy and Professor Gianna Moscardo.

“We would like to thank everyone who has already answered the survey but we need to have more responses to make sure that we can present accurate findings to the community, Ms Konovalov said.

“Your answers will help to understand Airlie Beach residents’ preferences and opinions about different styles of tourism and quality of life in the area,” Ms Konovalov said.

The survey can be found online by visiting www.jcusurvey.com and will take around 15 minutes to complete.

All the survey participants can enter into a prize draw with a chance to win one of 10 $20 vouchers from various local shops.

The same survey was conducted in Bowen a few months ago and while the Bowen survey data is yet to be fully analysed, some preliminary findings are already available.

Most of the Bowen respondents would like to see significant growth in the resident population.

When asked about different types of visitors coming to the area, most respondents wanted to see an increase in general holiday-makers and visitors on organised group tours.

Respondents’ opinions about numbers of grey nomads, backpackers and seasonal/temporary workers were mixed, with some respondents preferring numbers of these types of visitors to remain the same or decrease in the future, with others wanted an increase.

Most of the respondents believed that tourists of all types have positive impacts on the community, however some respondents did report some drawbacks of having tourists in their local area, in particular, regarding backpackers and temporary or seasonal workers.

Bowen residents were mostly highly satisfied with living and socialising in the Bowen community, with more than half of the survey respondents rating their satisfaction with their overall quality of life in Bowen and feeling of belonging to Bowen community between 7 and 10, with 10 being ‘completely satisfied’.

However, they did have suggestions for improvements to community services and facilities.

“We believe that the survey findings will provide vital information for tourism and community organisations and local governments and contribute to informed decision making practices.”

Ms Konovalov encouraged as many Airle Beach residents as possible to participate in the survey, to help ensure the accuracy of the information reported.

“Please pop on to the website and use this opportunity to have your say now.”

The survey will remain open until May 1 2014.

For more information, contact principal investigator Elena Konovalov, on (07) 4781 3130 or via email:Elena.Konovalov@my.jcu.edu.au

JCU Media contact: Caroline Kaurila, tel: (07) 4781 4586 or 0437 028 175

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