Overall, there are 4 Optimal Conditions (OC) that we have identified for the community pillar that we value as important to tourism. What this means is that we believe if these things became compromised it would represent a threat to the industry and run the risk that there is significant community fight against visitors. As such, healthy tourism depends on their success long term in our region. For each Optimal condition we have identified several things we can track and measure as an indicator of how we are tracking.
- The Shoalhaven is a safe place to live and work (in the 360 Model, we refer to this as OC1). Our community talks a lot about “feeling safe” as something they love about living in our beautiful region. Things like; being able to take a walk to be beach without worry; and feeling safe when we are driving on our roads; these general concepts came up a lot. As a result, we have identified our safe and laid back lifestyle is something we really value as important.
- PHASE 1 INDICATORS: There are several different measures we have identified as ‘indicators’ of safety in our community. In this initial stage we have added the measures in our region that already have data publicly available. These include fraud (often linked to ATM skimming), car break ins, arson reports and emergency department admission numbers.
- PHASE 2 INDICATORS: There are other measures we have identified that would be great to have, but we don’t yet have data available for. The 360 final report identifies these as options for “Phase 2”. We will continue to strive to add to the model as data becomes available or more research is completed. These include tracking the number of rescues on patrolled beaches, number of motor vehicle accident reports reports and number of traffic fines.
- Our ‘special places’ are healthy for local residents (in the 360 Model, we refer to this as OC2). Everyone has a ‘special place’. For some it’s the local coffee shop, for some it’s a special bush walk, a part of the river or a favorite beach. These places represent different things to different people but universally being able to enjoy these places and not have them damaged is really important to us. Overall, most of the people we talked to are willing to share with our visitors, but, only if they are respected and looked after. Much like when we have a visitor come our home, they are always welcome to come and stay if they keep things clean and respect our house rules, but if they leave rubbish everywhere and bash holes in the walls – they are no longer welcome and this sediment rings true in the greater region as much as it does our homes.
- PHASE 1 INDICATORS: Beach water quality is a great measure of this indicator, so you will see that data in the model for phase one.
- PHASE 2 INDICATORS: We also recognised that measure of community health was subjective and based on personal experience and perceptions. We have plans in place to create and conduct community surveys in ‘Phase 2’ that measures the percentage of local residents that believe their ‘special places’ are ‘healthy’ for them to enjoy and will focus an overall region perception as well as identified hot spots like Bendalong, Jervis Bay and Mollymook.
- Amenity and access to our villages is protected (in the 360 Model, we refer to this as OC3). There’s little doubt being trapped in your own home is unacceptable and when visitors impact access or the amenity of our towns and villages residents are understandably unhappy. In recent peak times we have seen this happen in a couple of busy locations (we have called these hot spots) or during some high profile events. This condition needs to be monitored because it impacts the willingness of our community to host visitors and risks the safety of locals and visitors alike.
- PHASE 1 INDICATORS: Up until now there has been no formal way we ask our local residents if they believe that visitor impacts to their villages are appropriately managed throughout the year and so, there is no indicators in this initial stage as yet.
- PHASE 2 INDICATORS: We have identified the need to conduct a resident survey to measure the proportion of residents who believe that traffic and amenity of the villages is being appropriately manged and will add data as it becomes available.
- Local residents value the visitor economy (in the 360 Model, we refer to this as OC4). As an industry we recognise that if our locals don’t think tourism is an important sector for jobs and our economy then there will be no funding or support, and this would have a significant impact on the industry. As a result, visitors understanding and valuing the role tourism plays in our region is critical to business sustainability.
- PHASE 1 INDICATORS: Up until now this is not something we have actively measured as so there are no indicators showing in this condition as yet.
- PHASE 2 INDICATORS: There are several things we have identified as measures for this going forward. This includes; business listings on our website (ATDW database); number of businesses who participate in training with Shoalhaven Tourism; number of articles supporting the industry in local papers throughout the year; proportion of residents who recall the value of the industry.
Overall we combine all the optimal conditions and their indicators to rank how many we believe are acceptable vs how many are not performing well to give us an overall “Community Index Score”
As of Sept 2018 Qtr, the Community Pillar Score shows 1 out of 1. With many indicators scheduled for phase 2 this is an early indication only. As data becomes available and other Indicators across other Community Optimal Conditions are entered into the model, we will see more bars on this chart and the Community Index may change.