The Tourism Transformation Process: An inquiry into the three main process phases

Char-lee McLennan (2012). The Tourism Transformation Process: An inquiry into the three main process phases PhD Thesis, School of Tourism, The University of Queensland.

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
s4182859_phd_abstract.pdf Abstract application/pdf 66.35KB 5
s4182859_phd_revisedsubmission.pdf Final thesis application/pdf 4.34MB 24
Author Char-lee McLennan
Thesis Title The Tourism Transformation Process: An inquiry into the three main process phases
School, Centre or Institute School of Tourism
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-01
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Lisa Ruhanen
Tien Pham
Brent Ritchie
Total pages 343
Total colour pages 7
Total black and white pages 336
Language eng
Subjects 150603 Tourism Management
160513 Tourism Policy
140303 Economic Models and Forecasting
Abstract/Summary Over the last century, many industrialised countries around the world responded to the declines in traditional industries, such as agriculture and manufacturing, by transforming into service economies (Cali, Ellis & Willem te Velde, 2008; Gallouj, 2002). Indeed, governments have actively pursued tourism as an economic development strategy (Akama & Kieti, 2007; Lourens, 2007; Ritchie & Crouch, 2000). As a result, tourism has changed and transformed the nature of the world’s economies. In Australia, many regions have had to restructure their economies towards tourism to avoid declines (Sorenson & Epps, 2005). However, regions have often had to pursue transformation on their own, lacking external federal and state government support, in addition to the internal mechanisms for gaining advice, funding and the decision-making tools required for dealing appropriately with the process (Kelly, 2002). As a result, many regions have pursued inappropriate policies and, with a lack of long-term focus on development, there have been significant negative impacts upon local economies, communities and the environment (Alexandra & Riddington, 2007). Consequently, there is a need to increase knowledge surrounding the long-term tourism change process to aid decision-makers. This long-term process of change, whereby an economy restructures from one economic sector to another owing to institutional change, has been termed transformation (Seliger, 2002). The literature suggests that institutions are important underlying factors in tourism development and require further research (Agarwal, 2002; Breakey, 2005; Onkvisit & Shaw, 1986; Saarinen, 2004), particularly across the stages of development (Scott, 2003). Existing indicators used to measure institutions in a tourism destination are currently under-developed and there is little evidence of how institutions interact with structures across the transformation process (McLennan, Ruhanen, Ritchie & Pham, 2011). The tourism literature postulates that a destinations structure is defined by the triple bottom line, or its economic, social and environmental characteristics (Carter, 2004; Prideaux, 2000; Martens & Rotmans, 2005; McDonald, 2006). Understanding such elements and their relationship to the tourism industry is critical for comprehending how tourism develops over the long-term. Currently, there is a lack of clarity surrounding how tourism relates and contributes to long-run economic, social and environmental changes (Alexandra & Riddington, 2007; Papatheodorou, 1999; Parrilla & Font, 2007). There are still clear theoretical gaps within the current understanding of long-range planning for tourism destinations. Consequently, this research aims to identify and examine relationships and changes in a regions structures and institutions as the tourism system transforms from an inception to an urban system. It achieves this by using a mixed-model research design aimed at comparing and contrasting structural and institutional factors in three tourism regions at different stages of tourism and economic development. Specifically, the three regions represent the inception, construction and urbanisation stage of transformation. The mixed-method research design incorporated surveying, index development, generalised ordinal logistic regression and counter-factual scenario planning. The findings of this research suggest that the relationship between tourism and the economy, society and environment is far more complex and, while some factors are dependent upon the stage of transformation, the relationships vary and are interrelated. In particular, this research found a positive relationship between tourism and the economy at all three stages of transformation, yet no significant difference between the regions’ societies or how tourism affected these societies. This infers that the impact of tourism on societies is complicated by its dependence on the geographic location and cultural context of the region. However, the impact of tourism on the environment was heterogeneous across the stages of transformation. While the inception region had the most positive environmental rating, tourism had the greatest negative impact on the environment in this region, most likely owing to the inception region being less economically developed and more environmentally preserved than the other two regions. In contrast, the urban region had the least positive environmental rating, yet tourism had a positive relationship with the environment. Indeed, other factors besides tourism were determined to be significantly affecting the urban regions environment. In terms of institutions, there was no difference between the three regions tourism industry’s management processes, performance measurement and benchmarking processes. There were few institutional differences between the tourism industry and other industries in the inception region, but several significant differences were found for the construction region and more were found for the urban region. This suggests that, across the development spectrum, the tourism industry adapts to become ‘smarter’ and more agile and adaptable than other industries in a region across the transformation process. This thesis advances transformation theory as a tool for understanding the tourism development process and investigates the phenomenon from a cyclical time perspective, which has been under-investigated within the tourism literature. This research contributes a suite of structural and institutional indexes that can be used by tourism managers and planners to monitor, evaluate and benchmark the tourism industry across time. This research also has implications for tourism planning, development and policy makers, particularly long-range planning at the local level.
Keyword Tourism - Australia
Additional Notes Colour: 39, 42, 84, 101, 105, 322, 341 Landscape: 58, 59, 78, 125, 156, 157, 174, 342, 343

Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Thu, 26 Apr 2012, 15:44:39 EST by Char-lee Mclennan on behalf of Library - Information Access Service