Mobilities on the Gold Coast, Australia: implications for destination governance and sustainable tourism

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Dredge, D & Jamal, T 2013, 'Mobilities on the Gold Coast, Australia: implications for destination governance and sustainable tourism', Journal of Sustainable Tourism, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 557-579.

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Mobilities of people, capital, labour, expertise, resources and images create significant challenges for sustainable destination governance. This paper discusses the implications of mobilities for destination governance where fluid populations of tourists, residents, second home owners and recreationists, and transnational flows of labour and capital intersect to create and recreate the physical, social, economic and political characteristics of place. Three key processes that affect destination management are identified: the spatial restructuring of destinations, the pluralisation of destination management and the re-envisioning of community. In a study of the hyper-neoliberal destination of the Gold Coast, Australia, mobilities are examined and implications for governance are discussed. Our research highlights the challenges of measuring, evaluating and understanding the extent and complexity of mobilities, and explores the tensions between mobilities and established sustainable tourism principles that suggest governance should be grounded in local community dialogue and values. The differences between “hard” and “soft” power structures in destination governance are noted. The paper contributes methodological insights into the study of mobilities and to theoretical and practical debates about the influence of mobilities on sustainable destination management, especially the need to re-visit the meanings of long-accepted concepts in sustainable tourism, including “public interest”, “community” and “community-based” tourism.

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