Tasmania Results

Response Rates

The response rates were highest for Overland Track walkers with a rate that was slightly higher than 85%. Response rates for Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre guests was just above 30%. Finally response rates for Central Highlands fishing guests was slightly below 15% (Table 13).

Table 13. Vancouver Island Response Rates

Site Respondents Refusals Sample Size Response Rate
Overland Track

157

27

184

85.33%

Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre

154

344

498

30.92%

Central Highlands Fishing

14

80

96

14.58%

Total

325

451

778

41.77%

 

Country of Origin

Country of origin statistics were calculated for each sample group with 314 out of 325 respondents (96.1%) reporting their country of origin. Most participants were Australian residents. Apart from Australia the top countries where respondents were visiting from include the Germany, UK, Canada, France, Netherlands, New Zealand and USA. Country of origin distribution varied depending on the sample site (Table 14).

Table 14. Respondent Country of Origin

 

Overland Track

Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre

Central Highlands Fishing

Total

Country

n

%

n

%

n

%

n

%

Australia

113

75.33

103

68.67

13

92.86

229

72.92

Germany

11

7.33

9

6.00

0

0.00

20

6.37

UK

3

2.00

9

6.00

1

7.14

13

4.14

Canada

3

2.00

8

5.33

0

0.00

11

3.50

France

5

3.33

5

3.33

0

0.00

10

3.18

Netherlands

1

0.67

4

2.67

0

0.00

5

1.59

New Zealand

5

3.33

0

0.00

0

0.00

5

1.59

USA

5

3.33

0

0.00

0

0.00

5

1.59

Other

4

2.67

12

5.30

0

0.00

16

5.10

Total

150

99.99

151

100.05

14

100.00

314

99.98

 

Gender Distribution

Gender information was calculated for all sample groups with 316 out of 325 respondents (97.23%) reporting their gender. The gender distribution at each site is depicted in Table 15.

Table 15. Respondent Gender Distribution

 

Overland Track

Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre

Central Highlands Fishing

Total

Gender

n

%

n

%

n

%

n

%

Male

84

54.90

59

39.60

11

78.57

154

48.73

Female

69

45.10

90

60.40

3

21.43

162

51.27

Total

153

100.00

149

100.00

14

100.00

316

100.00

 

Age Distribution

Age information was calculated for all sample groups. Out of 325 respondents, 293 (90.15%) reported this information. The age of respondents ranged from 19 years old through to the age of 80. The average age of respondents was 42 years of age, however this varied between the three sample groups. Age distribution for each sample site is contained in Table 16.

Table 16. Respondent Age Distribution

Sample Group n Mean Min. Max. Range
Overland Track

144

38.99

19

70

51

Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre

137

43.85

20

77

57

Central Highland Fishing

12

60.83

23

80

57

Total

293

42.15

19

80

61

 

Destination Image

To help understand the main elements that shape Tasmania’s tourism image, respondents were asked to rate the importance of twenty items commonly associated with the Tasmania tourism industry. Ratings were given on a scale that ranged between 1 and 5, with 1 being not important and 5 being very important. These twenty items are listed in Table 17 and organized according to the importance ratings given by respondents. Therefore, the first item in the list was considered to be most important and the final item considered as least important. Overall importance ratings differed between the three sample groups. Numbers in brackets indicate the rank in importance of each item for the three sample groups.

Table 17. Destination Image Items

Item

n

Mean

Overland Track

Cradle Mountain Visitor Center

Central Highlands Fishing

Natural scenery

324

4.821

4.84    (1) 4.81    (1) 4.69    (2)
Parks & protected areas

325

4.752

4.83    (2) 4.70    (2) 4.36    (3)
Unique/rare animals

324

4.381

4.29    (5) 4.48    (3) 4.29    (4)
Hiking

324

4.293

4.74    (3) 3.94    (6) 3.00    (15t)
Unique/rare plants

324

3.891

3.85    (7) 3.97    (5) 3.36    (11t)
Tourist Information centres

322

3.824

3.63    (8) 4.05    (4) 3.46    (9)
Camping

324

3.813

4.38    (4) 3.29    (14) 2.93    (17)
Local food

322

3.764

3.61    (9) 3.90    (7) 4.00    (6)
Transportation networks

325

3.723

4.04    (6) 3.46    (12) 3.00    (15t)
Nature-based tours

324

3.651

3.54    (10t) 3.78    (8) 3.36    (11t)
Colonial era history/structures

325

3.621

3.54    (10t) 3.70    (9) 3.64    (8)
Quality accommodation

325

3.405

3.22    (13) 3.53    (11) 4.07    (5)
Convict history

323

3.284

2.99    (16) 3.55    (10) 3.43    (10)
Festivals, concerts, markets, museums, etc.

325

3.191

3.27    (12) 3.10    (15t) 3.29    (13)
Mild weather

325

3.184

3.02    (14) 3.33    (13) 3.21    (14)
Quality restaurants

324

3.096

3.01    (15) 3.10    (15t) 3.93    (7)
Local wine, beer, etc.

323

2.851

2.82    (17) 2.82    (17) 2.57    (18)
Fishing

324

2.286

2.20    (19) 2.12    (19) 4.93    (1)
Diving/snorkeling

324

2.262

2.26    (18) 2.34    (18) 1.43    (20)
Nightlife/Entertainment

324

2.011

1.96    (20) 2.05    (20) 2.21    (19)

 

1No significant differences found between groups.

2 Mean responses from Overland Track walkers and Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre guests were significantly higher than mean responses from Cradle Mountain fishing guests.

3Mean responses from Overland Track walkers were significantly higher than mean responses from Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre guests and Central Highlands fishing guests.

4Mean responses from Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre guests were significantly higher than mean responses from Overland Track walkers.

5Mean responses from Overland Track walkers were significantly lower than mean responses from Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre guests and Winter Harbour fishing guests.

6Mean responses from Central Highlands fishing guests were significantly higher than mean responses from Cradle Mountain fishing guests and Overland Track walkers.

 

Sensitivity to Forest Industry Impacts

To help understand respondents degree of sensitivity toward forest industry impacts a scale was developed which contained twelve items. Six items were worded in a way that assessed the impact of forestry on tourism experience, while the other six measured the impact that forestry has on outdoor recreational experience. Additionally, half of the items included in the scale were worded negatively, while the other half contained positively worded items.

Sensitivity scores were then calculated for each participant. This was done by reverse coding all negatively worded items and adding the ratings given to produce a score out of 60. This score was then divided by 12 to create an index out of 5. Scores that respondents could potentially receive ranged between 1 and 5, with 1 representing a low degree of sensitivity and 5 representing a high degree of sensitivity to forestry impacts. Comparisons between the three sample groups were then made. Analysis revealed that Overland Track walkers were much more sensitive to forest industry impacts when compared to Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre guests (Table 18).

Table 18. Sensitivity to Forestry Impacts

Sample Group N Mean Min. Max. Range
West Coast Trail

139

3.87

2.25

5.00

2.75

Kwisitis Visitor Centre

131

3.58

2.25

5.00

2.75

Winter Harbour Fishing

14

3.44

2.50

5.00

2.50

Total

284

3.711

2.25

5.00

2.75

 

1Mean score from Overland Track walkers was significantly higher than mean score from Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre guests.

 

Exposure to Forestry Impacts

The amount that an individual is exposed to forest industry impacts is likely to influence the degree to which their experience is affected. Therefore, the survey listed four types of forestry impacts that visitors could potentially encounter while in Tasmania. These include harvested areas, tree plantations, logging trucks and saw/pulp mills. Respondents were asked whether or not they had observed each type of impact during their trip. The results of this analysis are contained in Table 19.

Table 19. Exposure to Forestry Impacts

 

Overland Track

Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre

Central Highlands Fishing

Total

Impact Type

n

%

n

%

n

%

n

%

Harvested areas

66

43.42

126

83.44

13

92.86

205

64.67

Tree plantations

82

53.95

128

84.77

11

78.57

221

69.72

Logging trucks

33

21.71

86

56.95

13

92.86

132

41.64

Saw/pulp mills

28

18.42

55

36.42

5

35.71

88

27.76

 

Analysis revealed that statistically significant relationships do exist between sample site and each of the forest industry impacts listed. However, the strength of these relationships were shown to vary depending on the type of forestry impact observed. The strongest relationship that was observed occurred between harvested areas and sample site, with Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre and Central Highland Fishing guests being much more likely to encounter this type of impact than Overland Track walkers. This was followed by logging trucks, which saw the likelihood of encountering this type of impact vary significantly between each of the three sample sites. Finally, the likelihood of observing saw/pulp mills was also shown to be associated with certain sample sites more than others. Tree plantations were also shown to be associated with specific sample sites with Overland Track walkers being much less likely to encounter this type of impact than the other two sample groups. Finally, saw/pulp mills were also associated with specific sample sites.  However, this relationship was shown to be the weakest with Overland Track walkers having a lower likelihood than the other two sample groups of encountering this type of impact.

 

Forestry Impact on Tourist Perceptions

The survey that was distributed to visitors contained a question asking about the effect that specific forest industry impacts had on their perception of Vancouver Island as a tourist destination. The forest industry impacts listed in the survey include harvested areas, tree plantations, logging trucks and saw/pulp mills. This question was measured on a 5-point likert scale, with 1 being negative and 5 being positive. Analysis revealed that differences in opinion do exist depending on the type of forestry impact observed (Table 20).

Table 20. Forestry Impacts and Visitor Experience

Impact Type

n

Very negative %(1)

Negative %(2)

No Impact%(3)

Positive %(4)

Very Positive %(5)

Harvested areas

203

22.2

24.1

39.9

8.4

5.4

Tree plantations

218

8.3

10.1

48.6

17.9

15.1

Logging trucks

129

20.9

24.0

45.0

6.2

3.9

Saw/Pulp Mills

86

20.7

22.1

50.0

2.3

4.7

 

Of the four types of forest industry impacts listed, harvested areas received the lowest rating with nearly half of respondents (46.1%) indicating that observing these areas had a negative impact (rating of 1 or 2) upon their perception of Vancouver Island as a tourist destination. This was followed by logging trucks (44.9%) and saw/pulp mills (43.0%). Despite these findings, it appears that visitors were much more accepting of tree plantations with only 18.4% of respondents indicating that observing this type of impact had a negative effect on their perceptions.

 

Forestry Impact on Tourist Perceptions (Mean ratings according to sample group)

Despite the differences in ratings found between the four types of forest industry impacts, no significant differences were observed when comparing the ratings given by the three sample groups (Table 21).

Table 21. Forestry Impact and Visitor Experience According to Sample Group

Impact Type

Mean

Overland Track

Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre

Central Highlands Fishing

Harvested areas

2.511

2.34

2.59

2.54

Tree plantations

3.201

3.10

3.27

3.45

Logging trucks

2.481

2.13

2.62

2.38

Saw/Pulp Mills

2.481

2.56

2.52

1.60

1 No significant differences found between groups.

 

Forest Management Preferences (Responses)

To help gain insight into the management preferences of visitors to Tasmania the survey contained a question listing five possible management options for forests in Tasmania. Respondents were asked to rate their agreement with each option with 1 indicating a high level of agreement and 5 indicating a low level of agreement. The five management options presented in the survey are can be seen in Table 22.

Table 22. Forest Management Preferences

Management Option

n

Strongly Agree %(1)

Agree %(2)

Neither agree / disagree %(3)

Disagree %(4)

Strongly Disagree %(5)

Make no changes to forest management practices, as forestry has minimal impact on scenic views.

234

3.0

18.8

17.5

36.8

23.9

Limit timber harvesting near roadways to preserve scenic views along transportation routes.

270

17.0

43.3

27.4

9.3

3.0

Limit timber harvesting near recreational areas to preserve scenic views at these sites.

284

32.4

46.8

14.8

4.6

1.4

Heavily restrict timber harvesting throughout all areas of Vancouver Island to preserve scenic views

266

22.9

22.9

28.2

20.3

5.6

Ban timber harvesting throughout all areas of Vancouver Island to preserve scenic views.

268

10.4

9.3

22.0

40.3

17.9

 

When presented with the option of making no changes to forest management practices, 60.7% of respondents indicated that they either disagree or strongly disagree with this statement. This seems to suggest that a high proportion of visitors would like to see some changes to forest management practices in Tasmania. Out of the forest management options presented to visitors, the limiting of harvesting near recreational areas to preserve scenic views received the most support, with 79.2% of respondents indicating that they either agree or strongly agree with this option. This was followed by the restriction of harvesting near roadways to preserve scenic views (60.3%). Despite the strong support for the restriction of timber harvesting in certain areas, very few respondents were outright opposed to the presence of the forest industry with only 19.7% of respondents indicating that they believe timber harvesting should be banned throughout all areas of Tasmania.

 

Forest Management Preferences (Mean ratings according to sample group)

One significant difference was observed when comparing the acceptance ratings given by the three sample groups. These can be seen in Table 23.

Table 23. Forest Management Preferences According to Sample Group

Management Option

Mean

Overland Track

Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre

Central Highlands Fishing

Make no changes to forest management practices, as forestry has minimal impact on scenic views.

3.601

3.64

3.50

4.17

Limit timber harvesting near roadways to preserve scenic views along transportation routes.

2.381

2.28

2.51

2.00

Limit timber harvesting near recreational areas to preserve scenic views at these sites.

1.962

1.81

2.12

1.85

Heavily restrict timber harvesting throughout all areas of Vancouver Island to preserve scenic views

2.631

2.49

2.78

2.54

Ban timber harvesting throughout all areas of Vancouver Island to preserve scenic views.

3.461

3.36

3.54

3.67

1 No significant differences found between groups.

2 Mean responses from Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre guests were significantly higher than mean responses from Overland Track walkers.

 

Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre guests were much more likely than Overland Track walkers to agree with the statement suggesting that harvesting should be limited near recreational areas to help preserve scenic views at these sites. However, no other significant differences were found between the three sample groups.

 

Summary

Based upon the above results, it appears that the forest industry in Tasmania does have the potential to negatively impact upon tourism. This is supported by the fact that almost half of the respondents who participated in this study indicated that observing harvested areas negatively impacts upon their perception of Tasmania as a tourist destination. In addition to this, more than 40% of respondents indicated that saw/pulp mills and logging trucks have a negative impact upon their perceptions.

The fact that over 60% of respondents disagree with the statement suggesting that’ no forest management changes are needed in Tasmania’ seems to suggest that changes to forest management practices could improve the perceptions of tourists who visit Tasmania. When asked about preferred management options nearly 80% of respondents indicated that they believe timber harvesting should be limited near recreational areas to preserve scenic views. Also, more than 60% of respondents support the idea of harvesting restrictions near roadways to preserve views along transportation routes.

In addition to these findings, the degree tourism experience is affected was shown to vary according to sample site. However, it is important to note the small sample size from the Central Highlands fishing group. Although this limits the reliability of the findings from this group, the other two sample groups received a sufficient number of responses. Overland Track walkers were shown to be much more sensitive to forest industry impacts than the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre guests. When it comes to having their perceptions influenced by forest industry impacts no significant differences were found between the sample groups. However, Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre guests were more likely than the other two sample groups to agree with the statement suggesting that harvesting should be limited near recreational areas to help preserve scenic views at these sites.

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