Initiatives for the development of tourism in tropical Australia

Pearce, Philip L. (2013) Initiatives for the development of tourism in tropical Australia. Working Paper. The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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• The present report sources internationally and nationally published ideas and concepts from the tourism academic literature concerning the future of tourism. The report employs these ideas for consideration in building tourism in Australia's tropics

• Tropical Australia, defined as the area north of the Tropic of Capricorn, has multiple tourism resources including three World Heritage areas, four national landscapes, three significant touring routes and multi-faceted cultural capacities, including a strong Indigenous presence

• Many tourism reports including the Jackson Report (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009) and the draft CSIRO document The Future of Tourism in Queensland (Hajkowicz, Cook, & Boughen, 2013) describe national pathways for the future of tourism. Other key studies including the document The Coalition's 2030 Vision for developing Northern Australia (Liberal National Party, 2013) and Stocktake of Regional Research: 50 pieces of influential regional research (Regional Australia Institute, 2012) clearly envisage an expanding future for northern Australia and offer targets for tourism (two million international tourists annually by 2030). These studies, and many others, do not specifically focus on the regional initiatives for delivering this desired future.

• Additionally, even when new directions have been offered, the direct contribution of the national and northern academic voices to these conversations has been limited

• The report is structured around a five part model to help develop new initiatives. It considers the roles of intelligence, information computer technology, investment, and industry know-how in contributing to future oriented action

• Adopting a critical and applied appraisal of the international and national base of fundamental academic research, the report identifies 10 desirable initiatives and highlights action and policy directions for these themes

1. Developing tourism for community well-being

Proposes a new wider set of measures for evaluating tourism's contribution to community well-being

Offers examples of topics to be measured

2. Improving cross-industry opportunities

Suggests that tourism and other important northern sectors - agriculture, mining, education and the military - could benefit from creating more tourism linked opportunities

Recommends discussions to facilitate generic and business tourism linking these sectors

3. Reinforcing the well managed natural brand

Argues for the further emphasis in marketing on the natural brand for tropical Australia but recommends an audit and visible demonstration of sustainable practices at sites to reinforce the brand

An integrative and wide ranging review of tourists' safety and well-being in tropical environments is also suggested

4. Incorporating the slow tourism approach

The value of linking to international market directions in slow tourism is noted as an underused but additional marketing emphasis

5. Boosting Indigenous opportunities

Recommends scholarship support for advanced education for Indigenous Australians for professional futures and empowerment in tourism

6. Supporting the domestic backbone

Argues for systematic soft and hard infrastructure development to support drive tourism

Recommends a uniform approach to tourism discounts for local regional visitors

Supports the importance of national and international sporting events being located in the region to boost local and out of region tourists

7. Consolidating the international strategies

Recommends a focus on the young Chinese independent market

Proposes using local voices and endogenous marketing to assure the authenticity of the experience appeal

8. Integrating quality markers

Proposes exploring the integration and alignment between Australia's accreditation and recommendation systems with international approaches

9. Attending to research investment

Notes the funding drought for fundamental and applied research in tourism at the northern/tropical scale while supporting the efforts of Tourism Research Australia for its particular role

Proposes explicit restatement in Australian Research Council grant schemes and T-QUAL grant scheme for research in tourism as a nationally significant priority for funding

Proposes greater interchange between government, industry and academic personnel in terms of visitor schemes and options similar to international practices in terms of senior business and government visitors and professors for a week

10. Refreshing educational, career and extension structures

Introduces a potential tourism employment classification scheme which boosts transferability between tourism, events and leisure roles.

Recommends the development of tourism extension officers, analogous to roles in other major sectors such as agriculture, to support the delivery of research and advisory information

• A community based competition for innovative public tropical infrastructure is proposed in the context of recent global initiatives for tourism.

Item ID: 29920
Item Type: Report (Working Paper)
ISBN: 978-0-99875922-3-1
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Additional Information:

This report is part of The Future of Northern Australia Discussion Paper Series.

This discussion paper is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence. You are free to copy, communicate and adapt this work, so long as you attribute James Cook University [The Cairns Institute] and the author.

Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2013 02:36
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 80%
90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900303 Tourism Infrastructure Development @ 20%
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