Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Tourism Management Honours

School

School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Law

First Advisor

Ross Dowling

Second Advisor

Dr Dale Sanders

Abstract

Geotourism is a form of natural area tourism that can include natural and human-made sites of geological significance. This new form of tourism provides destinations with an opportunity to provide a unique product to visitors. The purpose of the study was to explore the perceptions of tourism stakeholders on a proposed geotrail in the Perth Hills. Due to the limitation of appropriate frameworks and models surrounding geotourism development, Steps 1 to 5 of Gunn's (2002) Site Design Steps was used for the identification and development of individual geosites within a proposed geotourism trail in the Perth Hills. Fourteen tourism stakeholders were identified using a snow-ball interview technique, with convenience sampling used to identify prospective tourists. Participants were given a 'key stakeholder information booklet' prior to the in-depth, semi-structured interviews conducted between September and November 2010. The findings were combined to create a market analysis of the tourism industry in Western Australia and the eastern region of Perth. The market analysis identified the different tourism markets, characteristics of visitors, existing tourism products, established geotourism products, current major tourist attractions in Perth and the surrounding areas, and new market opportunities for geotourism and geotrails within the Perth area. The program definition of the project identified three significant geosites in the Perth Hills- the Red Hill quarry, Boya Mountain Quarry and the Zig Zag. These sites were then assessed for their on-site and off-site factors and provided to stakeholders for consideration as geosites within the proposed geotrail. Although there were differences on how each stakeholder group perceived the geotrail, each group supported the geotrail plan and viewed it as an opportunity to increase tourism in the Perth Hills. Without the input of stakeholders various concerns with the geotrail would not have been realised, relating back to the reviewed literature and influencing the amended geotrail route. Overall, stakeholders that were interviewed found the geotrail plan to be an interesting concept. However, there were some doubts as to how successful the trail would be and if there would be enough visitations to warrant the development of the trail. However, the general consensus of the interviews was that any new product that would create an increase in tourism in the Perth Hills and provide visitors with more activities would be supported by all stakeholder groups.

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