Queensland Outdoor Census

Queensland Outdoor Census

A survey of all outdoor and nature-based organisations operating in Queensland.

When we are known, counted, and valued, it is easier to connect with participants, build new markets, and influence decisions.

By completing the Queensland Outdoor Census 2023, you have helped broaden and deepen our shared understanding of the scale and range of outdoor providers, promoters, and support organisations in Queensland.

By measuring outdoor organisations, we can value the contributions made. The Queensland Outdoor Census 2023 findings will showcase not just what we do, but where and with how many.

Queensland Outdoor Census 2023 Report

After several months of collating the data, analysing the results and writing the report, we are pleased to present the final report from the Queensland Outdoor Census 2023 and an Infographic that highlights the key findings.

Outdoors Queensland’s tagline is “Live Life Outdoors”.

Living life outdoors in Queensland provides a fun break from work and other responsibilities, offers a fulfilling workplace for life, and allows volunteers to contribute to their communities. Although we recognise outdoor activities as part of our way of life, the scope and scale of the outdoor sector in Queensland (and Australia) has not been well-measured or fully appreciated.

The Queensland Outdoor Census 2023 seeks to identify and build understanding of organisations who comprise the outdoor sector in Queensland. Designed by Donna Little from Way to Be and funded by the Queensland Government Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport (DTIS), this report summarises insights into the organisational types, participants and activities of outdoor focused organisations operating in Queensland in 2023.

Click Queensland Outdoor Census 2023 Report Infographic to read/download an easy way to review the key findings.

Key Findings

  • Over 300 of the approximately 1,000 outdoor organisations operating in Queensland completed the census survey.
  • One million people every month are outdoors thanks to Queensland’s outdoor organisations.
  • The Queensland outdoor sector is diverse: all sizes of business/organisation, a wide range of services/products, many outdoor activities, for all types of people.
  • Volunteers represent 59% of all identified outdoor sector workers.


Initial Insights

The Queensland Outdoor Census 2023 closed on August 14, 2023, and we are now working through the data to see what it all means – to find out what useful insights can be gained. We have decided to release the following initial results – this information is rough but indicative – more to come once we have crunched the numbers.

  1. We had a range of respondents, and many fulfill more than one type of service, or have diverse structures.

  1. Respondent base of operations:
    • ​70% from South East Queensland,
    • 11% from Far North Queensland,
    • 6% from Central Queensland,
    • 3% each from Wide Bay Burnett, Darling Downs/South West, and Mackay, Isaac and Whitsundays.
    • 2% from North Queensland and
    • 2% are based interstate.
  1. While 70% are based in SEQ, 51% of respondents state their head/ central business office is Regional or Rural; 4% are based remotely; and 46% are Urban/ Metropolitan.
  2. The respondents demonstrated that more than 60% of staff are full time employed; and 20% are volunteer workers.
Why do a census?

One of the big reasons is that this type of data capture has never been done.

This census will be used to build an understanding of the size and scope of organisations that support, promote and deliver outdoor participation opportunities and experiences in Queensland.  We know this is vital for several reasons:

  • If the sector as a whole is seen and understood, it is more likely to get greater respect and recognition;
  • We want to drive opportunity. As the old adage says, ‘What gets measured, gets managed’ (and funded, and supported, and has influence);
  • By knowing the outdoor sector we are better able to represent you;
  • By understanding you, OQ can more effectively talk with decision and policy makers about the value of the outdoor sector, its contributions, and needs.
Just the one survey?

Yes, for now. Obviously we need to learn more about everyone and uncover details but for now, capturing the basics about where you are, what you do, with whom, and which clients are most vital for you is the start point.

Every four years we want to replicate the questions. Then we build a pool of information that is compelling; and we can start to track and monitor changes. That helps everyone to know where opportunities might lie, what resources might be required, and continues to help illustrate we are an important and diverse industry in Queensland.

In between the 4-year census, we might ask you some follow up questions like what’s important to you, opportunities and threats to your work and so on. The goal is to ask a few short questions occasionally, rather than one long census that becomes really demanding.

What happens with the results?

The data will be collated from the Census and snapshots from that sent directly to those organisations that completed the survey and provided contact information.

Additionally, the collective results will be shared with decision makers and key stakeholders to help inform and influence.

And Outdoors Queensland will learn from the findings as well and use them to help refine the services we offer to you, the representatives of the outdoor sector.

How does this benefit my organisation?

The more everyone knows about the outdoor sector, the better our ability to make decisions and influence decision makers. For example, de-identified census results will be used to:

  • Inform and influence all levels of government of the value of the outdoor sector
  • Highlight the importance and scale of the outdoor sector, its connections with local communities and contributions to the State
  • Influence decision makers and key stakeholders by building informed understanding
  • Share profiles of outdoor organisationwith a range of markets


OQ Census Confidentiality Statement

Outdoors Queensland is committed to ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of our surveys and research. As stewards of data, it is our responsibility to maintain confidentiality of survey responses and protect respondents’ identities.

We do this by analysing responses in aggregate form.

Any findings generated will represent collective insights meaning individual responses cannot be attributed to any particular person or organisation.

By completing the census, you agree to us collecting details about your organisation including your contact email.

We may use this to provide you with results from the census, as well as to send you information relevant to the Outdoor Sector. You can unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time in the future – but we hope you won’t!

We will NOT sell your contact details to a third party. We may promote third party products/services to you at times, but we will not provide third parties with your contact details.



Become a member

We welcome membership applications from outdoor organisations and individuals

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