Saturday, July 05, 2008

supposed to fire my imagination

What a marvellous paper is the POST. Today they have our story on the survey (Rotto Bloggo got the whole survey after 11 months slog, you'll recall). Patience and persistence was rewarded.

Visitors to Rottnest Island are less satisfied with many businesses and the accommodation there.

A survey commissioned by the Rottnest Island Authority reveals what people do on the island, where they spend their money, how they get to the island – and what they think of it all.

The POST had to use Freedom of Information laws to get sections of the survey. It took 11 months before the full document was released by the RIA.

The survey interviewed 686 visitors to Rottnest in a 12-month period to June 2006.
They were asked to rate their experiences as ‘very dissatisfied’, ‘dissatisfied’, ‘very satisfied’, ‘satisfied’, or ‘neither’.

The general store, bakery, Dome café, tearooms and Quokka Arms hotel were the most-used businesses.

Satisfaction levels for the goods and services at the general store, Dome café, tearooms and hotel all declined compared to the previous year.

At the bakery there was in increase in satisfaction with its service, but more dissatisfaction with its products.

Businesses with the highest levels of dissatisfaction were Captain’s Kitchen at Kingston Barracks, where over a quarter of visitors were very dissatisfied or dissatisfied with both the food and service, and the hair and beauty salon, where 43 per cent were very dissatisfied or dissatisfied.

At the Dome and the hotel, nearly a fifth of customers were either very dissatisfied or dissatisfied with service.

Eleven per cent of patrons of the Red Rooster outlet were either very dissatisfied or dissatisfied with its food, and the tearooms had 12 per cent of visitors very dissatisfied or dissatisfied with its service.

Businesses that received the most number of satisfied and very satisfied assessments were the general store (87 per cent), the Geordie Bay store (82 per cent), the Indianic boutique (81 per cent), and the cinema (78 per cent).

The survey also revealed how people travel to Rottnest.

Nearly a third took a Rottnest Express ferry, while a fifth went with Boat Torque.
Sixteen per cent took their own boat, and 11 per cent used Oceanic Cruises.

Of the 686 people interviewed, more than half were staying overnight or enjoying an extended visit on the island.

Nearly a third of those people stayed in villas. About a fifth were in units, and 15 per cent stayed in Kingstown and in tents.

Ten per cent were either very dissatisfied or dissatisfied with their accommodation, with another 20 per cent neutral.

The greatest unhappiness was with linen and bedding: 26 per cent were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, and 27 per cent neutral.

Only 47 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied.

Furniture and fittings weren’t far behind in the unhappiness stakes. 22 per cent were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, and 25 per cent were neutral.

The ratings for standard of accommodation, cleanliness, cutlery and crockery, maintenance services and luggage delivery were better.

Overall, there were high levels of satisfaction with accommodation: bungalows fared the best, while cottages fared the worst.

Tents and villas were the only accommodation types that had some very dissatisfied people.

People liked the guided tours, although 80 per cent of visitors said they didn’t go on the two-hour coach tour, or see the Oliver Hill guns and tunnels, or go on quokka walks or Aboriginal history tour or visit the lighthouse.

10 per cent of visitors said their expectations weren’t met – up from six per cent in the previous year.

A fifth said their expectations were exceeded, and 69 per cent said their expectations were met.

The vast majority of people said they would return to Rottnest and would recommend it to others.

Boaties were the least-satisfied group.

When it came to value for money, 81 per cent thought Rottnest was either ‘good’ or ‘very good’. Seven per cent said it was ‘poor’.

The most common reasons for giving the island a poor rating were the ferry costing too much and the food and accommodation being too expensive.

The POST’s first request for the survey results was made in July last year. The RIA refused to release them, saying it formed part of its business operations.

Some of the results are published in our annual reports,” said the RIA’s Penni Fletcher-Hughes.

“The report is not made available for the public.”

After a series of appeals, the information was released.


  1. We recently nipped across for a day trip and of course I forgot to pack the nappy bag... I think it cost us the better part of a crisp hundy once we procured nappies, wipes, disposal bags, wipeable change mat, etc, etc.

    That visit will be remembered for my mad dash across the limestone bluff, manhandling a baby and stroller, to get the last bus back to the settlement.

    On my next trip I plan to introduce the kids to the sound of wind in the Thompson Bay pines and the eerie howl of the wind caught in the power lines crossing the salt lakes.

  2. Were you satisfied/dissatisfied/neutral/etc with the service Cookster??