We mentioned in our June update that the results were in for the post-festival survey completed by 786 festival-goers, answering an extensive questionnaire so that we can better understand who comes to the festival, where they are from, how long they stay and what they value most about the event. This kind of data is essential for us to plan the festival’s future and to demonstrate to our partners, sponsors and supporters the value of the largest wooden boat gathering in the Southern Hemisphere.
There are some interesting trends emerging, since we first began the survey with the 2013 event. Estimated attendance (215,000) is steady, with fluctuations mostly attributable to weather, and the number of boats (490) and volunteers (435) stable over the last three festivals. What has changed is the percentage of our audience travelling from interstate and overseas to attend the event.
2013 – 37% interstate and 3% overseas
2015 – 38% interstate and 1% overseas
2017 – 50% interstate and 4% overseas
The overseas number is statistically small and subject to variation, but what can’t be denied is the rising number of Australians travelling to Tasmania to attend the festival. Postcode data collected on the festival site support this strongly.
2013 – 64% said yes, it was
2015 – 66% said yes, it was
2017 – 64% said yes, it was
Obviously, a steady result. A further 23%, on average, said that the festival was one of several reasons for visiting the state.
2013 – 12.8 nights
2015 – 11.8 nights
2017 – 15.6 nights
The difference between 2013 and 2015 is negligible, but there’s a definite surge in 2017, as the average length of stay passes two weeks. This may be accounted for by the ever-expanding range of tourism attractions in Tasmania and events like the St Ayles Skiff Regatta, which takes place on the weekend after the AWBF. The numbers point to a substantial contribution to Tasmania’s growing tourism economy.
The answer was ‘yes’ from 58% of our audience. That falls into line with overall Tourism Tasmania data, which demonstrate that people who come to Tasmania are very likely to return for another visit.
Selection and variety of boats featured – 96%
Quality of exhibits and displays – 97%
Friendliness of AWBF volunteers – 96%
Cleanliness of the festival site – 97%
This is the heart of the matter for us. Are people enjoying themselves? Do they like what we offer when they get here? Is the selection of wooden boats interesting and attractive? Is the whole experience a pleasant one? If you think of this as a school report card, we’re not going to get complacent, but a 96-97% approval rating is not too terrible.