Helping tourists become responsible recyclers

Published 9 December 2008

Northern Rivers’ residents are among the leaders in Australia when it comes to recycling and now a Southern Cross University researcher wants to encourage tourists to also become exemplary recyclers.

Social marketing researcher Kate Neale is undertaking the study on the recycling habits of our tourist population for her Masters degree through the School of Commerce and Management.

She plans to use the information to develop a marketing plan which local councils, real estate agencies and other businesses can adopt to encourage their region’s tourists to ‘do the right thing’ when it comes to recycling waste.

“In Byron Bay alone there are about 1.8 million visitors a year,” said Kate. “These visitors to the region make an enormous contribution to the waste being generated and it is vitally important that they be encouraged to become conscientious recyclers just as permanent residents are.”

Kate hopes all councils with a high tourist population - especially those on the Northern Rivers and in south-east Queensland - will be interested in taking up her recommendations.

She plans to initially focus her research on holiday accommodation and their in-house recycling initiatives. This includes backpackers, motels, hotels and self-catering apartments.

“The first phase of the research is to send out 1,000 questionnaires to determine the recycling behaviour of tourists,” Kate said.

“Byron Shire Council and the North-East Waste Forum have conducted excellent studies in this area in the past and I hope to build on those foundations and contribute to future initiatives.”

Kate would love to hear from any business interested in participating in her research. She can be contacted at kate.neale@scu.edu.au. Participation is free and all enquiries are confidential.

Photo: Kate Neale hopes tourists all over Australia will one day become responsible recyclers.

Media contact: Zoe Satherley Southern Cross University media officer, 6620 3144, 0439132095.