The role of the transport system in the growth of coastal resorts: An examination of resort development in south Queensland

Prideaux, Bruce Richard (2000). The role of the transport system in the growth of coastal resorts: An examination of resort development in south Queensland PhD Thesis, School of Tourism, The University of Queensland.

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Author Prideaux, Bruce Richard
Thesis Title The role of the transport system in the growth of coastal resorts: An examination of resort development in south Queensland
School, Centre or Institute School of Tourism
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2000-11-21
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Supervisor -
Total pages 305
Language eng
Subjects 690000 - Transport
350500 Tourism
Formatted abstract
The role of the transport system in the development of tourism resorts has not been explored except in the most cursory of ways in the tourism literature. The purpose of this research is to examine the role of the transport system in the development of coastal resorts in Queensland. Given the role of transport as the link between the tourist's home and the destination they wish to travel to, the research undertaken in this thesis adds to the existing body of knowledge on resort development. In particular, there is a need to understand the role that various transport modes play as resorts grow and commence attracting visitors from increasingly more distant places commencing with the local area and culminating in international markets. Thus the problem researched in this thesis is:

How does the transport system contribute to the development of coastal tourism resorts in South Queensland?

The literature review in Chapter 2 identified five research questions that were used to focus the research undertaken in this thesis.

      1. What role has the transport system played in resort development in South Queensland?
      2. What role does the economic market place, expressed in terms of demand and supply forces, play in determining the structure of the transport system in resort areas?
      3. Is it possible to identify specific phases of coastal resort development that are linked to specific forms of transport infrastructure using South Queensland as a working example?
      4. Is it possible to develop an operational model that identifies the role of transport in the growth of coastal resorts in South Queensland?
      5. What policy implications are there if a strong transport - resort growth relationship is identified?

Despite transport being the physical link between tourism origins and destinations a review of existing tourism models and typologies failed to identify a model that could be used as the basis for the investigation undertaken in this research. To identify and study the link between transport and resort growth a new model, the Resort Development Spectrum, was developed. This model, constructed on the premise that resort growth is a function of the economic market place where tourists (the demand element) purchase resort goods and services from resort businesses (the supply element), was used to identify the mechanisms of resort growth focusing on the transport system.

The Resort Development Spectrum was a particularly useful tool for identifying the growth paths of the resorts selected as case studies. Growth was found to be dependent on the expansion of the resort's market sectors commencing in the local area and progressively expanding into the intrastate market followed by the interstate market and finally into the international market. Growth was also found to have a strong supply side element. At each phase of growth the transport industry was responsible for providing the means whereby tourists could travel from their origin to the destination. As the distance between the tourist's origin and the destination increased the model composition of the resort's transport sector changed. In the past resorts were heavily reliant on rail and sea however in the Australian experience the emphasis has shifted to road transport by car or coach. As resorts grow and look to more distant markets, the mix of transport servicing the resort changes. This was the case in the Gold Coast where the introduction of domestic air services laid the foundation for the expansion of the interstate market. A similar situation occurred at the Sunshine Coast while the lack of direct air services to major interstate markets appears to have hampered the development of Hervey Bay as an interstate destination.

In recent decades the model mix has shifted from road to air with rail and sea contributing very little to the provision of public transport services. In the past, and before the widespread use of air and the private car, rail and sea fulfilled a much larger role in the provision of transport services linking origin points and resorts.

The results of this research have significant implications for government policies related to the general development of Queensland's tourism industry, as well as the provision of infrastructure in the state's numerous resort locations. The model illustrates the significance of transport and highlights the need to plan adequate transport corridors and reserves if resorts are to continue on a growth path that will see them embark on expansion into new markets.

The major contributions of this research are identified in Charter 6. The close link between transport and tourism development was identified via an examination of the history of resort growth of three South Queensland resorts (Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Hervey Bay) using a transport perspective. The Resort Development Spectrum is also a major contribution to the literature on resort development and provides researchers with a model that can be used as an a priori planning tool. The Resort Development Spectrum overcomes a major and long standing deficiency in tourism research by providing a model that can be used to assist in the forecasting of the future growth paths of resorts by illustrating the contribution of the supply side to the growth process.
Keyword University of Queensland. School of Tourism -- Thesis -- PhD.
Air travel -- Australia
Bus lines -- Australia
Tourism -- Queensland
Resorts -- Queensland
Additional Notes NOTE: there is no p253; there are 2 x p270; p298 is followed by p306 and then p299. The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access.

Document type: Thesis
Collections: Queensland Past Online (QPO)
UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
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Created: Mon, 01 Feb 2010, 09:42:38 EST by Ms Natalie Hull on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service