Tourism trends : evolution of tourism products market

Scott, Noel. (2003). Tourism trends : evolution of tourism products market PhD Thesis, School of Tourism, The University of Queensland.

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Author Scott, Noel.
Thesis Title Tourism trends : evolution of tourism products market
School, Centre or Institute School of Tourism
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2003
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Prof Chris Cooper.
Dr David Weaver
Prof Bill Faulkner
Total pages 255
Language eng
Subjects 1506 Tourism
350501 Tourism Policy and Planning
Formatted abstract
This thesis aims to provide a basis for improving the planning, management and marketing of tourism products. In order to do this, it develops and tests a conceptual framework addressing the question of how new types of tourism products develop and grow over time. Development of new types of tourism products is a source of economic activity for developing tourism destinations and important for established tourism destinations. The existing literature of tourism product development focuses on the use of the destination life cycle model Butler (1980). This model adopts the destination as a tourism product and was developed using analogies between developing destinations and biological systems to examine how new destinations develop and grow over time. Although widely applied, the destination life cycle model has been criticised in the tourism literature, as have related life cycle models in the marketing and sociology literature.

The conceptual framework developed in this thesis is an extended model of tourism product development based on use of two different biological analogies. The first is between a biological niche and a product market. A prior model from the marketing literature, based on the concept of market evolution, is then used to define the niche/product market (Lambkin & Day 1989). A tourism product is defined, for the purpose of this study, as an activity commercialised as £m exchange transaction between a supplier and a tourist. Aggregate exchanges of a similar type are defined as a product market. The second analogy is between the mechanism of evolutionary biological niche creation and the theory of structuration (Giddens 1979, 1984). Evolutionary niche creation theory draws on the twin mechanisms of human agency and ecological inheritance to describe change over time in a biological niche and this is taken as analogous to structuration theory which draws on the interaction of human agency and social structure as the mechanism of change in social systems.

As a result, the research objective of this thesis is to compare a proposed conceptual framework with the destination life cycle model. A pattern matching approach is adopted, comparing the patterns of the destination life cycle and the  conceptual framework with that found for two new types of tourism activity, 'Schoolies' week and whale watching. Each type of tourism is examined in two destinations for theoretical replication purposes. Whale watching is examined in Hervey Bay and Byron Bay and 'Schoolies' week is examined on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

The patterns in each case have been compared to the conceptual framework and destination life cycle model in five areas. These areas are the overall shape of the visitation pattern, the unit of analysis, the concept of stages, the concept of a limit to growth, and the mechanism of the life cycle. These areas have been chosen, as they are areas of criticism in the literature of the destination life cycle model. The results indicate that neither the conceptual framework nor the destination life cycle model match the patterns observed in all cases for all areas of comparison. The conceptual framework provides a better match in examining cases of 'developed' tourism products. A developed tourism product is one where a commercial product market is in evidence. The destination life cycle model is better in examining 'undeveloped' tourism products. In particular, the results indicate that community values influence the early development of new types of tourism products from activities. As a result, the thesis provides definition of the domain of the destination life cycle model and insight into how the model may be extended and reconciled with the work of Prideaux (2000) and Butler (1980). It is suggested that the patterns in the development of destination visitor numbers noted by these authors may be considered special cases of the conceptual framework developed here.

The final conceptual framework of this thesis extends the destination life cycle model by specifying a mechanism and unit of analysis and addressing all major prior criticisms. Thus it provides a framework for further investigation of the development of new types of tourism products. However, the conceptual framework has been based on a limited set of case studies, restricted to South East Queensland, Australia. These case studies also examine the development of new types of tourism activities in developed destinations over the past 30 years. As a result, the conceptual framework should be considered as one that requires further testing and evaluation.

Key words

Biological analogy, evolution, comparative case studies, new tourism products, niche creation theory, structuration theory, triangulation, innovation.
Keyword Tourism
Additional Notes The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Tue, 23 Mar 2010, 16:49:10 EST by Miss Stephanie Wright on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service