Using scenario planning to identify potential impacts of socio-demographic change on aspects of domestic tourism demand in Queensland in 2021

Glover, Petra Sabine (2007). Using scenario planning to identify potential impacts of socio-demographic change on aspects of domestic tourism demand in Queensland in 2021 PhD Thesis, School of Tourism, University of Queensland.

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Author Glover, Petra Sabine
Thesis Title Using scenario planning to identify potential impacts of socio-demographic change on aspects of domestic tourism demand in Queensland in 2021
School, Centre or Institute School of Tourism
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2007
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Supervisor Stephen Craig-Smith
Total pages 497
Language eng
Subjects 1506 Tourism
Formatted abstract
It is the aim of this thesis to examine the impact of socio-demographic change on domestic tourism demand in Queensland by 2021 using a range of scenarios. The outcome of this research will assist tourism policy makers and the private sector to identify how they may respond to this changing business environment. Specifically, this thesis

• assesses potential impacts of population growth, population ageing and changing family structures as projected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on aspects of domestic tourism demand in Queensland by the year 2021, and
• demonstrates the possibility and value of considering alternative possible futures when planning for long-term tourism policies, products and services.

While demographic change has been identified as a key driver of future tourism demand, two problems exist. First, changing population and household structures and their effects are only evident and relevant in the long-term since their rate of change is slow. Second, the need by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to develop three scenarios of population change suggests that the degree of change is uncertain.

Scenario planning has been recognised in theory and practice as a valuable tool to incorporate uncertainties into strategic planning processes but its use in tourism is currently limited. This thesis proposes three scenarios of domestic tourism demand in Queensland for the year 2021: Population growth exceeds tourism growth, Balance and Baby Boomers rule. Using ABS population and household projections, combined with the results from a three stage data collection process, the possible influences of socio demographic change on future tourism demand are identified. Primary data collection includes focus group interviews, a Delphi study and a consumer survey. A distinction is made between Baby Boomers and Generations X and Y since generational values and preferences may provide an indication of each groups’ future tourism demand.

The three scenarios suggest a range of implications for the tourism industry. To address socio-demographic change and its inherent uncertainties, tourism providers and policy makers need to

• re-evaluate long-term tourism policies and plans to incorporate change,
• invest in both tourism infrastructure and human resources to ensure the provision of high quality tourism services,
• monitor the social carrying capacity of destinations to avoid overcrowding,
• create a unique selling proposition to increase competitiveness against existing and emerging domestic and international destinations,
• contribute to policies and regulations regarding child-care facilities and retirement age to minimise or avoid a potential shortage of skilled labour, and
• incorporate strategies for Generations X and Y instead of focussing on Baby Boomers to take advantage of the opportunities resulting from population ageing.

This research shows that scenario planning can complement traditional forecasting methods by adding a qualitative perspective that includes a range of potential futures. This approach increases awareness about future opportunities and threats, thus enabling tourism providers and policy makers to design flexible tourism strategies and to proactively shape future tourism demand.
Keyword Tourism -- Supply and demand -- Forecasting
Tourism -- Queensland -- Forecasting
Tourism -- Queensland -- Economic aspects
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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 15:39:59 EST