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Researchers measure tourist satisfaction

By Katie Weiss

Dr Andrew Taylor is conducting a survey on self-drive tourists in the NT Outback Dr Andrew Taylor is conducting a survey on self-drive tourists in the NT Outback

Researchers are encouraging anyone who has visited the Northern Territory Outback as a self-drive tourist to complete an online survey.

Charles Darwin University Senior Research Fellow at the Northern Institute, Dr Andrew Taylor said the responses would reveal tourists’ main issues when driving to or around the region.

Dr Taylor said data from the “Survey of self-drive tourists to the Northern Territory Outback” could help government and industry stakeholders plan for a sustainable and long-term tourism industry in the region.

“It is important to get feedback from tourists visiting the area to ensure we are meeting their needs and expectations,” Dr Taylor said.

“The main driver of tourism is word-of-mouth and comments on review websites, so it is vital visitors go away with a positive experience.”

He said tourists’ lengths of stay in Central Australia were declining, with many tourists visiting Alice Springs and its surrounding areas on three-day pre-planned trips.

“Many tourists appear to spend a half-day in Alice Springs, travel to Kings Canyon on the second day and Uluru on the final day, then leave,” he said.

Dr Taylor said the survey would help the tourism industry better understand tourists’ characteristics, itineraries, motivations and activities.

Factors measured in the survey include how much they spent, who they travelled with and what attractions they visited.

“It’s about understanding how these tourists behave and meeting the changing and challenging global tourism dynamics for the Outback,” he said.

Dr Taylor will compare the data collected from the survey with similar data collected by CDU researchers five years ago to learn about trends or changes to the tourism market.

Research Associate Luis Pereira, from CDU’s partner Austrian university, the International Management Centre in Krems, has managed the survey component of the research.

Australian and international visitors who have toured the NT Outback can complete the online survey at W: surveymonkey.com/s/5RFHMRT.