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Lesbian Tourism: ‘Perth W.A. as an attractive lesbian tourist destination’

Teoh, Simon (2009) Lesbian Tourism: ‘Perth W.A. as an attractive lesbian tourist destination’. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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In September 2008, the Lord Mayor of Perth announced her vision for Perth to be more ‘gayfriendly’. Her vision aroused some dissonance from the ultra conservatives. The aim of this thesis is to determine the attractiveness of Perth as a lesbian destination. The significance of this study is to understand local lesbian residents’ perceptions of Perth as a ‘lesbian-friendly’ destination, and to evaluate the motivation and satisfaction of lesbian-tourists to Perth. The methodology used included participation observation at the 2009 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade; a semi-structured focus group interview of 4 self-identified lesbian Perth residents, and a purposive sample, using snowball effect, of 112 self-identified lesbians for an on-line survey. The data was analysed using content and statistical analysis. The findings were interpreted using a social constructivist approach, within a male feminist framework.

The findings indicated that slightly over a quarter of lesbian Perth residents felt that Perth is ‘lesbian-friendly’ (27%). Whilst ‘culture and sights’ was the top motivator for a lesbian vacation (94%), ‘visiting friends and family’ was the top motivator for lesbian tourists visiting Perth (71%). Slightly over a tenth of lesbian tourists were satisfied with lesbian attractions in Perth (13%). Overall, only a small number of respondents found Perth to be their first-choice ‘lesbian-friendly’ destination (6%), with an overwhelming majority wanting to see more lesbian attractions (85%), and 5% agreeing that there are sufficient lesbian venues. These results strongly suggest that Perth is not ‘lesbian-friendly’, and lacks attractions and venues as an attractive lesbian tourist destination. Recommendations for further research arising from these findings include undertaking a comparison between Perth and other Australian cities in terms of lesbian tourism.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Supervisor(s): Lee, Diane
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