World first tourism project in Queenstown Lakes aims to find optimal visitation model


A new tourism project to understand optimal visitation in the Queenstown Lakes region has launched with a Griffith University research team to lead the project.

Tourism remains the backbone of the Queenstown Lakes economy and contributes significantly to regional GDP. Destination Southern Lakes (DSL) hopes this project will build a model that helps to predict the visitor economy’s economic, social, cultural and environmental impacts and understand the intersection between different elements.

Destination Southern Lakes Chair Murray Strong said that understanding optimal visitation is ground-breaking work.

“At present, there are no comprehensive models that can guide and establish variables in relation to the social, cultural, environmental and economic limits of visitation levels,” Strong said.

“Queenstown Lakes is a high growth district with an economy that is dominated by tourism. With a small resident population and high visitor numbers, understanding the implications of visitation is essential for making good decisions and achieving positive outcomes to meet the needs of the community.

“Visitation in the district needs to be analysed in conjunction with residential growth, community sentiment, worker experience, visitor experience, seasonal changes, environmental degradation/regeneration and cultural context. This project is integral to taking a ‘systems approach’ towards destination management and supporting sustainable economic growth.”