Tourism has undergone significant growth over the past few decades as illustrated by the emergence of various forms of tourism across the world. Examples of the new forms of tourism include sports and volunteer tourism. Both local and international tourists are becoming more interested in urban tourism, which comprises the aforementioned forms of emerging tourism forms. Cities across the globe are putting efforts in developing and improving their tourism industry.
Melbourne is one of the cities in Australia that is focused on improving urban tourism. As a result, tourism is one of the fastest growing economic activities in Melbourne. The city has one of the highest liveability indexes in the world. Consequently, the residents’ wellbeing and the visitors’ level of enjoyment are relatively high (Prideaux & Moscardo 2006).
The city is characterised by a number of factors that attract both interstate and international tourists as various factors attract travellers to visit certain tourist destinations. This paper outlines the various destination attributes and motivations between first time and repeat travellers in Melbourne.
The paper focuses on interstate and international context of tourism. The study will provide stakeholders insight on the most appropriate marketing strategies for Melbourne.
Analysis. Destination attributes and motivations
Art and culture
Ritchie and Crouch (2003) argue that art is an important component of many tourists especially in urban areas. Thus, it is important for parties charged with the responsibility of promoting urban tourism to focus on developing arts and culture.
One of the ways through which this goal can be achieved is by nurturing the development of live entertainments, the film industry, cultural festivals, and art galleries. Despite the fact that only local tourists mainly attend cultural events, they may also attract foreign tourists as illustrated by the case of the West End cultural event in London and the Broadway in New York (Ritchie & Crouch 2003).
In addition to the well developed residential conditions and the region’s ecological environment, Melbourne serves as headquarter to numerous multinational corporations that specialise in art and culture (Campo-Martíne, Garau-Vadell & Martínez-Ruiz 2009).
The city is considered as Australia’s cultural capital. The city harbours well renowned local and international cultural and arts organisations. The city also plays a critical role in supporting both local and international film industry. Its attractiveness arises from the numerous sceneries that are best suited for shooting film.
In an effort to promote tourism in Melbourne, the Victorian government has constructed public cultural facilities (Prayag & Ryan 2011). Consequently, the city’s impression as a cultural capital amongst domestic and international tourists has been strengthened.
Development of cultural facilities has developed a strong cultural atmosphere, and thus Melbourne is positioned effectively to highlight its unique cultural image and cultural characteristics. Moreover, the city’s reputation has improved its ranking with regard to holding international events such as the World Congress of Genetics and the Australian Tennis Open.
The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia is one of the greatest arts events that were held in Melbourne in 2012. During the event, stunning artefacts associated with ancient civilisation were showcased (Richards & Palmer 2012). In 2008, the city was conferred the title of the world literary capital by UNESCO. Consequently, the city attracts a substantial number of local and international writers, students, researchers and artists.
Shopping and leisure opportunities
According to Ritchie and Crouch (2003), shopping is one of the major tourism activities. It accounts for a substantial proportion of the tourists’ expenditure. Prideaux and Moscardo (2006) argue, “Shopping is a key tourist activity and government agencies such as the City of Melbourne have made shopping a major element in their marketing campaign for Melbourne” (p.21). Melbourne has a strong retail industry.
The industry offers local and international tourists an opportunity to shop for high quality products. Thus, the retail industry complements the city as a major tourist destination in Australia. For example, the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF) attracts a large number of interstate and international tourists.
In 2008, the event attracted over 362,000 participants. Demand for fashion products in Australia is increased by the state’s seasonal climate and the fact that it hosts numerous events such as the Melbourne Cup.
A number of factors attract first time and repeat travellers to Melbourne. Melbourne is characterised by various tourist attraction destinations that motivate first time travellers. The city is characterised by well-designed sporting facilities. Hinch and Higham (2011) assert, “Melbourne has continued to gain immense exposure as a sport tourism destination” (p.79). The city’s infrastructure is well developed.
Consequently, it is can cater for the travellers lodging, transportation, and other sporting needs. The city has well established restaurants and hotels, and thus it can address the tourists’ food and entertainment needs.
Currently, Melbourne can be described as a sport city. Some of the major sports facilities include Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australian Tennis Centre, Flemmington Racecourse, Telstra Dome, Melbourne Swimming, and Aquatic Centre. In addition to the above facilities, the city has a number of hospitality and entertainment joints such as the Southbank and Crown Casino.
The city’s transportation system plays a critical role in attracting and developing repeat tourism behaviour amongst interstate and international sports tourism. Melbourne has managed to develop a strong infrastructure network after holding major and recurring sporting events.
The effective sporting infrastructure has improved Melbourne’s strength in bidding for major sporting events such as the Olympic Games, Rugby Leagues, and International Cricket Matches.
Food and wine
Melbourne has developed a strong reputation with regard to offering tourists good taste and high quality food and wine. The city hosts the Annual Food and Wine Festival, which is attended by approximately 300,000 local and international visitors (O’Toole 2011). As a result, the city provides customers with an opportunity to celebrate internationally acclaimed wine and food products.
The large numbers of visitors who attend the event fill the city’s restaurants and basement bars. The festival is graced by famous winemakers and chefs. Moreover, renowned local chefs, winemakers, artisans, and restaurateurs are recognised during the event.
Melbourne has a well-developed coffee tradition and cafe traditions, which have made a considerable contribution to the development of tourism in the area (Frost et al. 2010).
Wildlife, zoos, national parks and reserves
The city has a number of zoos and museums, which attract local and international tourists. Effective management of the zoos has improved Melbourne’s reputation, as the tourists are in a position to observe various types of wildlife such as birds.
The zoos and the museums have continued to attract a large number of tourists. Moreover, the zoos provide tourists with a unique experience hence developing the intention to revisit. In addition to the zoos, the city is characterised by attractive beaches, park gardens, wildflowers, coastlines, and scenic lookouts (Frost et al. 2010).
This study mainly focuses on tourism in Melbourne and thus the findings cannot be generalised to other tourist attraction destinations in Australia. Tourist attraction in Australia can change in accordance with the tourists’ tastes and preferences.
Therefore, this study is not conclusive. Another limitation of the study arises from the fact that it concentrates on destination-based attributes or the pull factors. Consequently, the pull factors are not taken into account.
The study shows that destination based attributes play a vital role in attracting domestic and international tourists. Moreover, the attributes influence the tourists’ level of satisfaction and hence the likelihood of revisiting the specific destination. The paper shows that the uniqueness of a particular tourist destination influences the tourists’ behavioural intention to revisit.
Melbourne is characterised by a number of attributes that position it as a tourist attraction destination. The city is increasingly being perceived as a modern city with effective transport network, great shopping options and leisure opportunities, arts and culture, and food and wine. Moreover, there are various tourist attraction destinations such as zoos, national parks, museums, and reserves in Melbourne.
The city’s attributes have contributed towards the development of a unique experience amongst local and international tourists. Understanding the relationship between the destinations’ attributes and the level of satisfaction amongst first time and repeat travellers in Melbourne will give stakeholders tourism insight on the most appropriate strategies to integrate in marketing Melbourne as a tourist destination.
As a result, Melbourne will position itself as one of the most attractive destination amongst interstate and international tourists.
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