Tourism in the Great ocean Road region
Tourism is a very critical sector of the economy and it entails provision of various services to tourists who visit tourism attraction sites which in most cases are natural features.
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Provision of tourism services involves use of considerable resources and the issue has been faced with a lot of controversy on whether or not it is worth investing in tourism in some attraction site (Cooper and Hall 2007). The Great ocean Road region is a tourism area that has a lot to offer in terms of variety.
The Great ocean Road region is a well known tourist attraction site that was constructed between 1918 and 1932 as a reminder of the people who died during the 1st world war. It is located in Australia, in the south western part of Victoria. It has however developed too much since then, making it to be a notable tourism region.
It is composed of a diversity of tourism elements for instance the Apollo bay, the Otway National Park, London Bridge, the 12 Apostles, the Loch Ard Gorge and the inland volcanic plain among others. Other unique attributes of the Great ocean Road region include waterfalls, volcanic lakes, beaches, rich maritime, restaurants and an attractive culture and heritage collection.
Tourism in the Great ocean Road region has been practiced to a great extent currently with most of the tourism sites attracting a significant number of tourists. With the implementation of strategies aimed at making the situation better, tourism activities and practices are likely to improve in future.
Tourists have had a great contribution to the economy of the region through their expenditure on the various services for instance accommodation, food and drinks as well as other services charges (Anonymous 2004).
The great road region attraction sites
|Apostle whey cheese||Located in Port Campbell. Established in 2002. Very attractive.|
|Barwon park||Located in Winchelsea. An attractive two storied bluestone mansion.|
|Bay of islands||Located in Port Campbell. A collection of islands of different sizes and shapes.|
|Blowhole||Located in Portland. Resulted from erosion.|
|Burswood homestead||Located in Portland. A superb building that offer home for the Portland founding family.|
|Southern right whales||Located in Warrnambool. A large pool of mammals|
|Port fairy information center||Located in Port fairy. Holds rich information.|
|Port Campbell national park||Located in Warrnambool. A scenic coastline with a lot of attractive features.|
|Otway ranges||Located in Colac. Very attractive and offering passes and roads to the coast.|
|Mt. Richmond national park||Located in Portland. Provides great views of Victoria shore regions.|
|Mt. Noorat||Located in Terang. The largest city in Australia.|
|Memorial square||Located in Colac. 2 hectare size in the town center. Surrounded by attractive thickly wooded botanic gardens.|
|Hopkins falls/ Warrnambool mini Niagara||Located in Warrnambool. Very attractive especially in summer.|
|Griffith island||Located in Port fairy. Holds Mutton bird sanctuary|
|Erskine falls||Located in Lorne at the lush Erskine river valley.|
|Flagstaff hill maritime village||Located in Warrnambool. Wide range of maritime attraction|
|Childers cove||Located in port Campbell. Offers attractive picnic and fishing base.|
Natural advantages and disadvantages impacting on the ability to supply tourism services
Tourism in the Great Ocean Road region is attributed to a variety of benefits as well as challenges. Some of the natural advantages that impact on the ability of the Great Ocean Road region to supply tourism services are; the excellent road network that makes transport easy, availability diverse tourism elements and activities, air access, townscape improvements, national trust, attractive image, exciting cultural and heritage experiences among others.
The challenges that affect proper provision of tourism services in the Great Ocean Road region include increased pressure on the available resources for example land and transport among other services.
Climatic change and seasonality, poor public transport access, inefficient accommodation, poor community participation, loss of natural character and unmanaged infrastructure are other threats associated with the Great Ocean Road region.
These has led to the development of the Great ocean Road region strategy whose main goals are to protect land and ensure that the environment is cared for effectively, manage the growth of the urban centers, enhance the transport sector and most importantly promote sustainable tourism and effective utilization of resources.
This has in a way led to reduction of the challenges and the situation is better now (Everist 2009).
Past and current social impacts of tourism
Tourism in the Great ocean Road region has both positive and negative social impacts. Some of the positive social impacts of tourism in the region include improvement of the general life of the local community. This has been made possible through exposure to various social facilities such as recreational services.
Employment has also been a key contribution of tourism in the region where people have been able to secure job opportunities in various sections of the tourism industry in various ranks depending on their education backgrounds and other qualifications.
It has also resulted to recovery and conservation of cultural values. Tourism in this region has also played a significant role in avoiding migration of the local population hence enhancing the socio-cultural level of the local community, an element that is very essential for social development.
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Some of the negative social impact of tourism in the region includes development of social differences between the local community and the tourists. This is so because the locals tend to see as if the tourists are highly valued, as compared to them, because they enjoy what is in their surrounding more than they do.
Tourism in the great ocean road region has also contributed to the rise of prostitution and other criminal activities such as drug abuse among others. This has been through imitation of the behaviors exhibited by the tourists.
It has also influenced the local culture in the area due to the introduction of various new aspects that lead to dissolution of traditional culture in one way or the other. People find themselves adopting new attributes associated with the tourists to an extent of forgetting the traditions.
Tourism in the region threatens important lifestyles and cultural products and attributes. This is a negative effect as it makes it difficult for future generations to get acquainted with their culture.
Although tourism in the region has led to increased employment levels, it also restrains the local individuals from performing traditional tasks and participating in other significant activities such as community-based and social activities (Tribe and Airey 2007).
Past and current environmental impacts of tourism
Tourism in the Great Ocean Road region has had some considerable environmental impacts. It has for instance led to increased pressure on the available natural resources such as land because the population around the region keeps on increasing day by day. It has also led to destruction of the ecosystem, pollution of soils, air and water, noise, extinction of various species among other factors.
It has led to depletion of the natural resources, soil erosion, loss of natural habitats, and increased pressures on various species especially the endangered ones as well as augmented vulnerability of the region to forest fires.
Engagement in environmentally unfriendly operations has resulted to deterioration of the environment for instance deforestation making the region not only unattractive but also susceptible to adverse weather. The great ocean road region has also suffered from solid waste and littering, an aspect that is not good for the environment.
This has been due to high concentration of tourists which results to spoiling of the natural environment in the region for example the rivers, the roadsides as well as other scenic areas. Tourism in this region has also contributed greatly to negative climatic change for instance existence of acid rain and the destruction of the ozone layer due to various emissions of carbon dioxide and other dangerous gases.
This is linked to transportation of the tourists either by air or road. Various sustainability projects like the Great Ocean Road region strategy have however shed light and people are now appreciating and protecting the environment since they have the knowledge of how significant it is to them and the future generations.
Although tourism has in most cases been associated with negative effects in regard to the environment, it has proved to be very essential in conserving unutilized landscape in the great ocean road region, that would other wise be destroyed through aspects like industrial development, globalization and other technological changes (Hall and Boyd 2005).
It is evident that the Great Ocean Road region is a peculiar tourism attraction site having a lot to offer for tourists around the world. Although there have been challenges and negative social and environmental impacts associated with the Great Ocean Road region, continued investment on tourism in the Great Ocean Road region is still justifiable and viable.
This is because the returns on investment in terms of the benefits achieved surpass the drawbacks therein to a great extent and with the implementation of the strategies and recommendations below, the Great Ocean Road region has the ability to achieve even much.
Most of the social and economic costs associated with tourism in the region can be dealt with effectively to reduce the negative effects and make the place a better investment all together.
To ensure that the Great Ocean Road region remains to be a viable tourism site in terms of the costs incurred and the benefits achieved, it is advisable that strategies to maintain sustainable tourism services are established and implemented under all circumstances.
This could be achieved through combined efforts of the people involved in the different ventures in the Great Ocean Road region. There should also be educational campaigns on sustainability, undertaken by all the stakeholders involved in an effort to ensure that people engage in environmental friendly operations.
This will result in unity of the tourists and the locals in their fight towards attaining sustainability in the entire region. When this is achieved, it will add on to the viability of investing in tourism in the Great Ocean Road region currently as well as in the future (Murphy and Murphy 2004).
The great ocean road
Anonymous., 2004. Great ocean Road region. Travel Victoria Web. Available from https://www.travelvictoria.com.au/regions/greatoceanroad/
Cooper, C., & Hall, M.C., 2007, Contemporary Tourism: An International Approach. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Everist, R.R., 2009, The Complete Guide to the Great Ocean Road: Walks, Beaches, Heritage, Ecology, Towns and Sustainable Tourism Through Southwest Victoria. New York: BestShot.
Hall, M.C., & Boyd, W. S., 2005, Nature-Based Tourism in Peripheral Areas: Development or Disaster? London: Channel View Publications.
Murphy, E.P., & Murphy, E. A., 2004, Strategic Management for Tourism Communities: Bridging the Gaps. New York: Channel View Publications.
Tribe, J., & Airey, D., 2007, Developments in Tourism Research, Volume 7. New York: Elsevier.