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Smiling for the Camera: The Influence of Film Audiences on a Budget Tourism Destination

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Today's focus on attracting the “high yield” tourist to established destinations has the potential to dramatically alter the mix of visitors to an area, alienating the existing tourism market. In many areas the budget, family holiday-maker is being edged out by the push to attract higher spending socioeconomic groups. A case study approach has been adopted to consider the impacts of such change precipitated by the little-understood phenomenon of film-induced tourism. The seaside village of Barwon Heads is experiencing change through the success of the ABC TV series, Sea Change. Viewers of Sea Change consist of the main ABC viewer demographic of educated, professionally employed Australians in the range of 40–65 years of age. Film-induced tourism to the area is altering the mix of visitors, which in turn may impact on the traditional holiday market, not merely through increased demand, but also by creating a new, intrusive style of tourism that directly affects the traditional holiday-maker. Issues that affect the traditional holiday-maker include a loss of privacy, especially in terms of those staying in the local caravan park, an increase in holiday rental prices, and a growing sense of inadequacy in relation to the increase in the highly visual, high-yield visitor. The outcomes of this study have applicability to other rural communities contemplating moves into new tourist markets, as well as those whose councils may wish to encourage the filming of television programs and movies as an economic fillip.

Keywords: Community; High y; Key words: Film-induced tourism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Tourism & Hospitality, La Trobe University, Australia

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.
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