Boating Visitor Survey

Multiple white boats moored in Stark and Rocky bay at Rottnest Island

Results of Boating Visitor Survey

In February and March 2019, the Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) conducted a dedicated online boating survey of Rottnest Island’s boating visitors.

A total of 3,113 RIA-registered boat owners were invited by email to participate in the survey (those with email addresses or who had consented to being contacted).

A total of 920 boat owners participated in the survey, which represents 30 per cent of all RIA-registered boating visitors.

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

Summary of results

The key findings of the research are listed below.   You can also download an overview of the survey results here

  • Ninety-eight per cent of all RIA-registered boat owners have visited Rottnest in the last year.
  • There were 273,389 boating visits to the island in 2018/19, a significant increase from 198,712 in 2016/17 (up 38 per cent). An average of 5.61 people were on each boat per visit (up from 4.11 in 2017)
  • More boat owners are staying on the island for one night (18 per cent, up from 13 per cent in 2017) and less are staying for more than five nights (14 per cent, down from 19 per cent).
  • Thomson Bay is the most popular site, while Narrow Neck has become less popular.
  • Most boat owners (92 per cent) come ashore. They purchase items from the general store (69 per cent), walk around (66 per cent) and spend time at the hotel/pub (63 per cent).
  • Most boat owners spend between $101- $200 (24 per cent) and $201- $350 (20 per cent) on the Island.
  • Nearly three in four boat owners were satisfied with the ease of going shore (72 per cent) and with the availability of fuel (71 per cent).