Results of boating visitor survey

In March 2015, the Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) conducted a dedicated online boating survey of Rottnest Islands’ boating visitors. A total of 2,993 RIA registered boaties were invited by email to participate in the survey (those with email addresses or who had consented to being contacted)

A total of 813 boat owners participated in the survey, which represents a 27% of all RIA registered boating visitors.

The main objectives of the boating survey was to measure boating visitor satisfaction of the destination experience including the various facilities and services provided on Rottnest Island, and to understand boating user behaviours and motivators in and around the Marine Reserve. 

Summary of results

The key findings of the research are listed below:

  • On average, each registered boat user travels to the Island 13.2 times a year (compared to 12.8 times in 2010), and more frequently during summer (5.75 visits). Autumn is the second most popular season with an average of 3.14 visits.
  • Most boaties (62%) have been visiting Rottnest for more than 10 years, with only 6% being new boating visitors.
  • 16% went for a day trip (compared to one third in 2010), while 84% stayed for one night or longer.
  • Almost all went ashore (92% compared to 84% in 2010).
  • Thomson Bay and Geordie Bay are the most popular bays, with the majority spending their time at Thomson Bay.
  • The main reasons for visiting Rottnest is for leisure/recreation/relaxation (41%), fishing/cray fishing (27%), clean/clear bays (25%), diving/snorkelling (21%), swimming (20%), peace/tranquillity/serenity /holiday atmosphere (18%), boating lifestyle (17%).
  • 94% said their most recent experience was met or exceeded (on par with 2010 results).
  • 75% are satisfied with the general services and facilities.
  • 69% are satisfied with the recreational holiday services and facilities.

RIA Response

In response to the survey findings, the RIA aims to provide additional facilities and services where they are essential, subject to the availability of funds, and plans pursue other improvements that will ensure improved access. In particular, the RIA has implemented the following:

  • Increased the number of bins located at Catherine Bay and Stark Bay.
  • Additional beach access points at Catherine Bay.
  • Bus stop shelters at Stark and Catherine Bays.
  • Site redevelopment at Salmon Bay.
  • Maintenance undertaken to the decking on Stark jetty, and the fuel jetties, including the replacement of access ladders.
  • Free wifi around in and around the Settlement area.
  • Continued refurbishment program to improve accommodation standards.
  • Monthly RIA and BWA meetings to discuss current issues and concerns of the Rottnest Island Boating Community.