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The development of olive tourism in Western Australia: a case study of an emerging tourism industry

Alonso, A.D. and Northcote, J. (2010) The development of olive tourism in Western Australia: a case study of an emerging tourism industry. International Journal of Tourism Research, 12 (6). pp. 696-708.

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The recent development of olive growing in Western Australia, and its amalgamation with tourism and hospitality, provides opportunities for growers to showcase their products and for visitors to experience olive-tasting and learn about an ancient food culture and rural activity 'transplanted' into the 'New World' from its 'Old World' roots. The present study examines the dimensions of this emerging niche market in Western Australia. Face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted among 23 small olive-growing operations located in this region to understand their scope for developing olive tourism. Overall, respondents' comments suggest that their involvement in olive tourism and hospitality could substantially provide benefits for visitors to rural areas and become a complementary alternative to other activities. To fulfil this potential, however, growers heavily rely on greater collaboration within their own industry, as well as on local authorities and tourism bodies in ways that include assistance, partnerships and promotion. Moreover, collaboration between olive growers and regional/tourism stakeholders, as well as government support may not only contribute to the sustainability of olive growing, but also to the emergence of olive tourism. In turn, these developments may also help develop a culinary identity and a tourism concept that may help minimise the threats of outside competition (cheaper olive imports) and rural decline.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Copyright: © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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