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Background about the market research into Sea to Summit walk and nature experience in East Gippsland.

The Victorian Government has committed $1.5 million to undertake planning for an iconic Sea to Summit hiking trail experience in East Gippsland. While multi-day walking is increasingly popular across Australia, there are more walking products on offer, making the walking market increasingly competitive.

To succeed, the Sea to Summit experience needs to be designed to meet the needs of the walker market. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) needed market research to understand how to develop the walk as an iconic nature nature-based tourism experience that will bring economic and social benefits to the East Gippsland region.

The market research has involved a knowledge review of the walker market, extensive qualitative phase involving nine focus groups, a market sizing national survey of walkers (n=2012), an assessment of the current concept (n=1124), and then development of 3 walking concepts that were ‘ground-truthed’ before testing them for market interest with another national survey of walkers (n=2038).

Extensive stakeholder consultation was conducted with the Sea to Summit proponents, community and business stakeholders and the local First Nations Peoples.