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Victoria’s Goldfields launch wellness survey as part of World Heritage Bid
In a first for Australian heritage tourism management, the Central Victoria Goldfields region has launched a survey to gauge the wellness of its residents in a bid to have the best of its gold-rush era heritage sites included on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Residents in 13 local government areas in the Central Victoria Goldfields region have been taking an online survey to gauge their happiness, quality of life and well-being.
Deployment of the survey is a partnership between the World Heritage bid’s 13 local government authorities and Planet Happiness, with support from the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), Bendigo Heritage Attractions and the Victorian Goldfields Tourism Executive.
The move is part of an initiative to ask local residents about their quality of life and how tourism might be developed to strengthen community and destination well-being.
The survey questionnaire was created to measure the well-being of host communities at World Heritage sites around the world, the vast majority of which attract a lot of tourists.
Around 300 people have completed the survey since it was launched on the International Day of Happiness on 20th March. The aim is to have at least 200 surveys from residents in each of the 13 participating areas.
So far respondents have expressed opinions on issues such as levels of tourism growth, access to local shops in busy tourism periods, the desire for slow change in communities, and the need to respect peace, nature and facilitate heritage conservation.
Laura Musikanski, a co-creator of the Goldfields’ Planet Happiness online survey notes “in the initial responses, we see a desire for people to be active outdoors and contribute to restoration and conservation of the natural and heritage features of their neighbourhoods.”
Chris Meddows-Taylor, Chair of the Victorian Goldfields Tourism Executive (above), added “we are hearing, very clearly, that locals want to make sure tourism is managed well and that it works to benefit communities. These early results are already helping shape our World Heritage bid’s tourism investment priorities.”
The 10-15-minute survey is online and available to adults in Ararat, Ballarat, Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Golden Plains, Greater Bendigo, Hepburn, Loddon, Macedon Ranges, Moorabool, Mount Alexander, Northern Grampians, and Pyrenees local government areas.
Everyone who responds to the survey in July and August will be entered into a draw to win $100 tickets to Bendigo Heritage Attractions and one full annual membership of the National Trust.
Residents in the 13 local government areas can take the survey and find out more about the World Heritage bid’s Sustainable Tourism projects here.
Planet Happiness is a non-profit grass-roots big data project of the Happiness Alliance to introduce happiness and well-being science, policy and practice to local communities, governments at all levels and businesses. Its target audiences and collaborators are individuals, local communities, businesses and governments connected to the travel and tourism industry. Dr Paul Rogers is the Co-founder and Director of Planet Happiness. He has over 20 years’ experience as a tourism advisor to national and local governments and has worked in more than a dozen countries in Asia, Africa and Australia. For more information go to www.ourheritageourhappiness.org/
Image top: Sovereign Hill musicians; Image centre Map of Goldfields proposed World Heritage area; Image above: Chris Meddows-Taylor
6th December 2020 - Goldfields town sees reopening of Drive-In theatre
20th April 2019 - Federal Government commits to funding Sovereign Hill redevelopment
27th March 2019 - Sovereign Hill launches new sound and light show
29th April 2021 - Two Culture and Heritage Tourism bodies agree to global alliance
27th July 2020 - Pilbara cultural heritage site saved by rock art discovery
9th June 2020 - Heritage Landmark to be restored in Mornington Peninsula
3rd May 2020 - National Heritage areas receive new conservation funding
9th April 2020 - Heritage project delivers light installations across Broken Hill
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