FOR the first time in six years, Mandurah and Peel Tourism Organisation (MAPTO) has a fresh insight into what visitors think of the Peel Region and its most appealing attractions.
MAPTO commissioned Metrix Consulting to carry out a far-reaching consumer research project to assess the levels of satisfaction people have with the visitor experience and to explore perceptions of the region to identify its unique selling propositions.
The results were shared at a forum in Mandurah yesterday.
MAPTO chief executive Karen Priest said there was still plenty of information to work through but one of the more interesting results was that potential visitors and those who lived in the region did not know enough about what to see and do in their own backyard.
“On the plus side, the research showed that when told about the diversity of the Peel Region, they are much more likely to visit or recommend it to family and friends,’’ she said.
“Although we have only had the research results for a short time, and actions are still to be worked through, we have already turned out attention to ways in which we can change perceptions, build knowledge and inspire visitation.”
That will include a greater focus on information and logistics for visitors through promoting options for accommodation and attractions, generating more suggested itineraries, boosting the social media presence and developing advocacy programs for locals and visitors.
Mrs Priest said the aim of MAPTO was to grow the visitor economy across the region in a sustainable way.
Key findings included an average 1.6 short breaks taken per person in WA in the past 12 months; an average 3.7 WA destinations considered for short breaks in the next 12 months with Mandurah rating fifth; Mandurah was the sole Peel destination mentioned by respondents on an unprompted basis as a short break destination and knowledge of the region outside Mandurah was low.
Knowledge of the region’s activities and attractions among Peel residents also ranked low, and legacy perceptions of Mandurah tainted the region with some considering it “just another suburb of Perth”.
Overall, most visitors surveyed were satisfied with their experience in the Peel citing factors such as the relaxing atmosphere, facilities and access to the natural environment and just over half those surveyed said they would be likely to recommend the Peel to others, with three quarters likely to visit again in the next 12 months.