Examine:- one tourism issue that is relevant to Ballarat. Essay Example

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DECLINE IN BALLARAT’S TOURISM INDUSTRY

Decline in Ballarat’s Tourism Industry

Decline in Ballarat’s Tourism Industry

Ballarat, a city in Victoria State, Australia, depends greatly on tourism as one of its major sources of revenue. As the Ballarat Tourist Association (BTA) (n.d.) contends, tourism brings in close to $346 million yearly and remains one of the leading employment industries in the city, employing approximately 1,700 individuals per year. However, over the past couple of years, the sector has been registering a decline in the number of both local and international tourists. This trend is reflected in the drop in the rate of hotel occupancy, decrease in revenues from the sector, and a few number of tourists visiting visitor information centers within the city. This report explores the fall in the number of tourists in Ballarat by examining indicators of the decline, as well as some of the underlying factors responsible for the issue.

Measures of Decrease in Ballarat’s Tourism

Over the past few years, Ballarat has been experiencing a decline in the number of tourists (both local and international) visiting the major tourist attractions in the city. The Courier (2011) observes that only about 200,000 tourists visited Ballarat, bringing in revenue less by $40 million in the financial year 2009/2011 compared to the previous period (para.3). As a result, most of the hotels did not take in tourists over the period. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2011), while tourism accommodation in other major cities within the state, such as Melbourne, registered substantial increase, that of Ballarat decreased by about 8% from 2009 to 2010. In addition, the visitor information centers in the city offered their services to only a few individuals. Compared to the previous year, the number of tourists seeking tourism services from Ballarat’s Tourist Information Centre dropped by 8.1% in the fiscal year 2009/2010 (eGlobal Travel Media, 2011). All these indicators show that although the city relies heavily on tourism industry for its revenue, it seems to be losing grip of the sector.

Factors Contributing to the Decline in Tourism Numbers

Among others, internet technology and harsh economic conditions remains the most two important factors responsible for the decline in Ballarat’s tourism sector. Advancements in internet technology have allowed tourists to search for potential tourist destinations over internet-enabled mobile phones, computers, and iPads. As a result, visitor information centers have lost significance. However, Ballarat’s tourism players have not fully taken this change in technology seriously, relying mostly on the information center to attract tourists (eGlobal Travel Media, 2011).

Harsh economic conditions, including increased fuel prices and high-valued Australian dollar had a part to play in the issue (Oliver, 2011). Together, they prevented international tourists from visiting Ballarat due to the accompanying high accommodation and traveling costs. The other major factor for the decline may have been the worse weather conditions, including floods, which affected the Victoria State over the period. This prevented both domestic and foreign visitors from going to city because of inaccessibility of the various tourist attractions.

Conclusion

Over the past few years, Ballarat has been experiencing a decline in the number of tourists (both local and international) visiting the major tourist attractions in the city. Among others, internet technology and harsh economic conditions remains the most two important factors responsible for the decline in Ballarat’s tourism sector. The other major factor for the decline may have been the worse weather conditions, which affected the Victoria State over the period

References

Ballarat Tourist Attraction (BTA). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ballarattouristassociation.asn.au/index.htm

The Courier. (2011, Feb. 2). Figures show Ballarat has dropped the tourism ball. Retrieved from http://www.thecourier.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/figures-show-ballarat-has-dropped-the-tourism-ball/2065333.aspx

eGlobal Travel Media. (2011, Feb. 4). Visitor informational centers falling out of use. Retrieved from http://www.eglobaltravelmedia.com.au/z-more/industry-insider-opinion/visitor-information-centres-falling-out-of-use.html

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). (2011, Feb. 21). 1367.2 – State and regional indicators, Victoria, Dec 2010: Tourism accommodation. Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Products/C887E6CA5B23FC0ACA25783B000ECFCA?opendocument

Oliver, J. (2011, Apr. 12). Ballarat hotel occupancy down. Retrieved from http://www.thecourier.com.au/news/local/news/general/ballarat-hotel-occupancy-down/2132213.aspx