This Research Report has investigated the inter-relationship between the tourism industry and the property development industry using the Gold Coast experience as a case study.
To this end, the report has had the following major objectives:-
• to examine the degree of inter-relationship between tourism and property development by analyzing the situational characteristics and competitive forces acting upon industry stakeholders.
• to use this analysis as a basis for predicting the future plight of tourism, property development and associated stakeholders and how their relative strengths in the area can combine to either strengthen or destabilise the Gold Coast's status as Australia's premier tourist destination.
The methodology adopted to achieve these objectives has been structured essentially into four parts.
The first part has aimed to familiarise the reader with the case study area; a critical step in understanding the culture or environment in which competitive industry forces have existed. (section 1 to 3)
The second part has concerned itself primarily with tourism industry trends and issues and how they have related to the Gold Coast. A statistical review has been undertaken to support an analysis of the industry's structure using Porter's Model. This information has then been used to assess the cost/benefit of tourism and the significance of various constraints to long-term industry growth. (section 4)
The question of industry inter-relationship has then been assessed from the point of view of the property development sector. Again the report has focussed on recent trends and major issues. (section 5)
The last part of this report has concentrated on tourist area life-cycle theory to discuss the Gold Coast as an evolving tourist destination. The key issue addressed, relates to how the two industries (tourism and property development) have interacted and performed thus far and how they may be required to change if the Gold Coast is to succeed long-term as so many believe it inevitably will. (section 6)
The major findings of this Research Report:-
• The Gold Coast has enjoyed a unique competitive advantage over other tourist destinations in Australia. This commenced with a lack of community opposition to wide spread development in the 1940's. New technology and favourable government - entrepreneur relations have underwritten tourism development since. A lack of competition and the Gold Coast's proximity to Brisbane's population base, have also presented the area with unique opportunities.
• The recent overseas investment boom in tourism which has been aimed primarily at resort and hotel development, has caught many sectors unaware of the long-term implications.
• With this investment, the Gold Coast has entered a new phase and is now competing in tourism - a global enterprise.
• Tourism development planning has heen characterised by a lack of knowledge and understanding, has been myopic in its approach, fragmented in its efforts and largely reactive to evolving environmental conditions. Consequently, the Government and private sector alike have not taken adequate steps to understand, monitor, promote or support tourism to the extent that it deserves.
• The assumption that tourist areas will always remain tourist areas and be attractive to tourists, appears to be implicit in tourism development planning. Public and private sectors, rarely if ever, refer to the anticipated life span of a tourist area or its attractions. History supports the tourist-area life-cycle approach hut it has been given little or no recognition as a planning tool and therefore poses serious questions as to the adequacy of planners from all sectors to plan in a way which shall achieve long-term prosperity for the Gold Coast tourist destination.
• Perhaps free market forces will enable the Gold Coast area to evolve effectively in the future as it has thus far, albeit to varying degress of success. However, environmental conditions are markedly different now and stakeholders are apparently prepared to take the gamble.