Source: The Mercury, Thursday, 8 January, 1998, p.1
By MATTHEW ROGERS A MAJOR Tasmanian tourism survey is asking visitors questions on drug use, religion in schools and the role of women. However, several critics of the survey of about 4000 visitors each year say it could seriously damage the state's image among tourists. And the State Opposition last might called for the questions to be dropped. Aside from questions on travel and accommodation, the two-part survey asks: · Do you tend to agree or disagree "Women should take care of running their homes and leave running the country to men?" · In your opinion, should the smoking of marijuana be made legal or remain illegal? · Do you generally feel you get a raw deal out of life? · Do you think religion should, or should not, be taught in government schools? It also asks people to describe their views on social issues and social trends and their attitude to new ideas and asks them to list their goals in life. Leading Tasmanian tourism developer Simon Currant was Continued Page 2 Tourism survey shock FROM PAGE 1 concerned the questions could alienate tourists and give the impression that Tasmania was a red- necked place. He said the questions were legitimate methods of sorting visitors into different social groups for marketing purposes but believed there should be a better explanation of the purpose of the questions. The questions are part of Tourism Tasmania's government-funded Tasmanian Visitor Survey. Tourism Tasmania says the questions are standard in the Australian tourist industry as a means of psycho- demographic analysis and are asked of about 4000 visitors to Tasmania each year. Tourism Tasmania communications director David Rose said they were aimed at gauging visitors' social attitudes. "We want to make sure our marketing dollars are directed at the people who have a high propensity to visit Tasmania," Mr Rose said. But Opposition tourism spokesman Michael Polley called, for the questions to be dropped immediately because of the damage he believed they could be causing the state's reputation. '"What an impact to make on visitors to our island," he said. "Why is Tourism Tasmania asking visitors whether they believe if the woman's place is still in the home and should running the country be left to men?" "What benefit that would have to tourism I do not know. It would do us more damage than good in this day and age".
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