Arrowtown scores a high proportion of mature, independent visitors, according to the town’s largest visitor survey.
The Arrowtown Promotion and Business Association (APBA) research project reveals half its visitors are over 55 and 72 per cent are over 40.
APBA board member John Lapsley, who directed the project, says: “The tourist walking down Arrowtown’s Buckingham Street is twice as likely to be over 55 as the tourist in Queenstown Mall.”
The research also shows 79 per cent of visitors drove themselves to Arrowtown, 37 per cent in rental vehicles, and a further 10 per cent arrived by public transport.
“Arrowtown is a particularly desirable destination for mature independent travellers visiting the Lakes District,” Lapsley says.
More than 400,000 people from outside the Wakatipu Basin visit Arrowtown each year.
That’s 19 per cent of all Queenstown visitors, compared with 18 per cent who travel to Milford Sound and Fiordland.
Half Arrowtown’s visitors are Kiwis and half are from overseas.
Like Queenstown, Arrowtown scores an average 8.9 out of 10 in a visitor satisfaction survey.
Lapsley says 95 per cent of visitors rate it eight or better and 63 per cent score it nine or 10.
Based on interviews with local businesspeople and 150 visitors, the project also researched what Arrowtown’s ‘brand’ is.
In descending order, the most important components are quaintness and charm, the sense of history, the physical beauty and the town’s ‘good vibrations’.
Forty-eight per cent of visitors did short or longer walks, nine per cent cycled and seven per cent played golf.
However, the research also found 43 per cent of visits were for two hours or less.
“It’s apparent Arrowtown needs to improve the information it gives to visitors,” he says.
“The research indicates there are too many walking up and down the main street without a good enough idea of what’s available to them, and therefore not spending as much time in Arrowtown as they might,” Lapsley adds.
APBA’s project involved two rounds of Arrowtown street interviews with help from Queenstown Resort College students. A survey of local businesspeople was also conducted and information was sourced from Destination Queenstown.