Tourist visitation generates additional use of public facilities such as parks, gardens, pools, stadia and museums. It also generates demand on physical infrastructure such as roading, water supply and waste water systems, public toilets, signage, car parks and other public utilities such as broadband. More broadly tourist visitation can also increase demand for public services such as health facilities.Read more
Tourist visitation generates additional use of
public facilities such as parks, gardens, pools, stadia and museums. It also
generates demand on physical infrastructure such as roading, water supply and
waste water systems, public toilets, signage, car parks and other public
utilities such as broadband. More broadly tourist visitation can also increase demand
for public services such as health facilities.
Adequate infrastructure is therefore critical to
delivering a world-class visitor experiences and the platform for private
sector investment. While governments at all levels have long term roles to play
in supporting infrastructure development for tourism it is at the local level
where the management of the physical presence of tourists is more acute.
Meeting Visitor Needs
The development of appropriate public infrastructure is central to meeting visitor needs. Visitors use a wide range of public infrastructure during a trip including:
Destination Management Tip
A Tourism Opportunity Plan can assist destinations in identifying public infrastructure requirements for tourism and engaging the public sector.
- Health facilities;
- Water, waste and energy;
- Recreational sites; and
- Public amenities and services.
The ease of access and use of these facilities can have a significant impact on a visitor’s perceptions of a destination, their length of stay, overall trip satisfaction and ultimately their likelihood of repeat visitation or word-of-mouth referral. For further information on assessing customer expectations and satisfaction please see the ‘Visitor Satisfaction’ section.
Assessing Supply and Demand (Resident and Visitor)
Visitors can put significant pressure on a host destination’s public infrastructure, particularly in smaller regional communities where the proportion of residents to visitors at peak times is small. Forecasting community and visitor demands for public infrastructure and services is an important part of long-term planning and prioritisation. Most National and State tourism bodies have tourism forecast data and can provide guidance on future trends. Industry and government must work together to get a clear understanding of future demand, as highlighted in the case of Queensland’s Agnes Water, where key infrastructure constraints for the region’s growth were identified through partnerships between industry and the Local and State Governments. Public / private partnerships can also play a critical role in developing appropriate infrastructure for both visitor and community use and can encourage additional private investment. Please see the section on ‘Private Infrastructure and Investment’ for further information.
Linking Economic Development and Tourism
While tourism growth in a destination does place pressure on resources and facilities, it can also provide the stimulus for economic development and the impetus for infrastructure development. In many cases, the role of tourism as a catalyst for economic development has gone unrecognised. This has been due, in part, to a lack of cohesion between government agencies responsible for critical infrastructure planning and those departments responsible for tourism. The introduction of a destination management approach and the development of collaborative partnerships allows for better tourism consideration in the planning for public infrastructure, as demonstrated in Logan City which has been able to incorporate tourism into their Local Government Economic Development Strategy, through a greater understanding of the importance of tourism, by both Council and the community. Tourism Opportunity Plans and Regional Tourism Action Plans, which have been developed in many regions across Australia, can also provide a linkage between tourism demand and public sector planning, identifying key public infrastructure and investment opportunities at a destination level. Ideally, these tourism plans are integrated into the broader infrastructure ‘Statuatory and Planning Environment’ for regions and destinations.
Public infrastructure development is also critically important in the area of transport infrastructure and facilities for visitor access. Please see the section on ‘Destination Access’ for further information.