Community planning for sustainable (tourism) development
Macbeth, J. (1997) Community planning for sustainable (tourism) development. In: CAUTHE 1997: Tourism research: Building a better industry, 6 - 9 July, Sydney, Australia.
There is research and there is research, to paraphrase an old saying. The research underlying the Omeo project has as its basic premise a concern for a community of people, their 'place' and their view of tourism development. The community, its concerns and interests, are seen as fundamental to building a better tourism industry in this Alpine district.
This paper is another in a series dealing with a two year action research planning project in the Victorian Alps. Previous papers have considered the genesis of the project in a conjunction of personal and academic interests, have reported on Stage one results and have proposed a prominent role for public participation in tourism planning.
The purpose of the present paper is twofold. First, it will outline the strategic planning document that resulted from Stage two of the project. Second, it will suggest reasons why the current state of rural Australia, the psyche of the 'bush', makes community participation and initiative in tourism planning difficult. This latter point traces the links in rural areas between economic problems with agriculture, the aging and dwindling population, the dimunition of services in country towns and the political marginalisation of country people.
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