Community surveys


Community attitudes, knowledge, perceptions and use of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area in 2007

by Dr Julie Carmody and Professor Bruce Prideaux

The aim of this 2007 community survey was to provide detailed knowledge of the community’s use and perceptions of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area. This information will assist in ensuring the long term sustainable management of the Area. Data from a similar survey undertaken in 2002 (see below), combined with the results of the 2007 survey, has provided the Wet Tropics Management Agency with an understanding of changes that may have occurred over the five year period.

A total of 4,142 surveys were distributed throughout the Wet Tropics bioregion between May and October 2007. A total of 853 surveys were returned giving an overall response rate of 20.6.

The survey showed 92% community support for the World Heritage Area and 67% support for Aboriginal cultural listing of the Area. People said that they mainly appreciated the Area for its contribution to their quality of life and for enhancing their environmental awareness.

Over half the respondents had visited the Area from one to four times in the past year and they received most of their information from the signs at visitor sites. However, 21% of respondents indicated they used the Wet Tropics website.

The research was funded by the Australian Government’s Marine & Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF) and conducted by tourism researchers from James Cook University.


Community attitudes, knowledge, perceptions and use of the WTQWHA in 2007 [6MB]

Two page summary [200KB]



The Role of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area in the Life of the Community

A Survey of the North Queensland Community; Revised Edition

by Joan M. Bentrupperbäumer and Joseph P. Reser


The The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area experiences an estimated 4.4 million visits each year, and forty percent or 1.76 million of those visits are made by residents of the adjacent local communities. It is the residents of these communities that were the focus of both a community survey and visitor site-level survey that were undertaken by Rainforest CRC researchers for the Wet Tropics Management Authority in late 2002 and early 2003.

The community survey examined the local community's awareness, perceptions, attitudes, and personal appraisals of the Area, the Authority and other management agencies, and also explored and documented the role of the Area in the life of the community. An important aim of the site-level survey was to record local community residents' (as well as domestic and overseas visitors') perceptions and appraisals of the Area, in situ, while residents were actually visiting or 'using' a World Heritage site. Data collection resulted in a thorough understanding of how individuals' behaviour translates into biophysical impacts and how specific environments or features impact on individuals' experiences, attitudes and judgments.

Both surveys were designed to complement previous and ongoing site-based and community survey undertakings involving longitudinal monitoring and indicator development, and the impacts of visitation and use in the World Heritage Area and catchment region.



Role of the WTWHA in the life of the community [4MB]

Living with World Heritage (8 page summary) [200KB]
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