Research findings could be valuable advice for future
I WAS interested to read both articles and letters in recent editions of The Daily Examiner regarding the need for road signs on the new Pacific Highway in order to maintain or boost tourism.
The piece by Jarrard Potter, quoting Chris Blanchard, was particularly telling.
A number of years ago I conducted research for the University of New England into the dairy industry in the Clarence Valley, proposing an agritourism industry based around the remnants of the once great dairy activities found in the area.
As part of this research I interviewed many tourists (108) who were passing through the Valley as to whether they would be interested in staying in the Valley to visit such locations.
The results were extremely positive. The surveys were undertaken during spring and summer with 73 per cent just passing through but 80 per cent recording they would consider staying in the future.
Most of them had never heard of agritourism but 60 per cent would like to stay in B&Bs on farms with 62 per cent interested in 'self-drive' tours to dairy heritage features. The age group with the highest interest shown was the 41-60 year range with very positive results for three of the four rural questions asked.
It seems that there is potentially a high demand for tourism in the Valley and to achieve this, good marketing and yes, good visible signage on the highway will be essential.