Tourism at Daylesford Town discussion

Daylesford is a small town situated between Castlemaine and Creswick. The town is found in a region that is the home to Australia’s largest number of natural mineral springs. The popularity of this town goes back as early as gold rush of 1851 when the alluvial gold was discovered. The town of Daylesford was surveyed in 1854. The town’s initial growth was due to thousands of workers who were looking for gold but the town later became famous of the bubbling mineral water from its many springs together with its neighboring Hepburn Springs. Daylesford is a major tourist and holiday destination offering an alternative lifestyle to those who want to move from other Australian towns. The town is well-known for the world class physical and spiritual wellness services including massages, spa treatments and acupuncture (Travel Victoria., 2010). The town of Daylesford has a commercial centre along Albert Street and Vincent Street. There are magnificent collections of historical structures like the post office that was build in 1861  and town hall that was built in 1882 and several shops and hotels.

Current and Forecast Levels of Activity,

The experience you get in this town is unforgettable as the streets are arrayed with trees that explode into a rage of beautiful colors during the autumn season. Another attraction centre is Lake Daylesford, created in 1929, occupies the land where gold was first discovered and it is surrounded by stunning Central Springs Reserves located just a few meters from the town centre. Already there is a café constructed beside the lake where visitors can have their meals. There are also picnic spots, several mineral springs and walking tracks. For those who want to go fishing, jetties and boats are available for hire. Another lake that offers a scenic feature in Daylesford is Jubilee Lake constructed in 1860 located a few kilometers from Daylesford. Here activities like fishing, boating and swimming attract visitors.

Wombat Hills Botanical Gardens, established in 1863 is few minutes walk to the East of town centre. These gardens are located on an extinct volcano and provide good scenery of the neighboring countryside from its well-tended pathways and lawns. The gardens also offer an exemplary lookout tower and conservancy (Travel Victoria, 2010).

Visitors come from all over the world to experience the nourishment of their bodies and souls from Australia’s largest centre of spa and wellness products. The future of this tourist centre in Australia is prospective in that more campaigns are geared towards promoting the number of people from inside and outside Australia who visit these marvelous sites. Currently, most of the visitors are persons who are above forty and it is expected that this will change as more young people looking for wellbeing of their minds, body and soul become interested. Also family groups, girls looking for weekend out will increase (Tourism Victoria, 2010).

Expenditure by Visitors

In 2009, Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey showed that Victoria, the province where Daylesford is located recorded a decrease in the number of visitors. According to the survey, Victoria received 1.5 million visitors as by September 2009 which was only 1 percent increase in international overnight visitation. However, this was better when compared to other states like New South Wales (-5.7%) and Queensland (-5.5).

Conversely, international visitor nights increased by 14.2 percent to 37.7 millions nights in the same period. This figure represented 22 percent of the market share. The increase in the number of international visitors’ nights was highly contributed by increase in the number of visiting relatives and friends, students and for other purposes. However there was a 16 percent decrease in the business segment, a sign that the business sector is still yet to recover from the global economic crisis and they are trading carefully on conferences and travel.

Daylesford and Macedon Ranges is among the regions in Victoria that have recorded a year to year increase in international overnight visitor number with 10.2 percent. The region that recorded the highest increase is Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges (15.7%) while Philip Island recorded 2.7 percent.

Generally, international visitor expenditure in the whole of Victoria region recorded a 14.3% increase. This means the region experienced a large percentage of high spending visitors. For example, the number of Chinese visitors decreased by 5.7 percent but the expenditure by these visitors increased by 32.1 percent to $494 million from last year figures (Vecci, 2009).

Employment generated

Tourism directly employs around fifty percent of the Daylesford population with the rest of the population engaging in other services like medical, trading, and other services. Tourism is the key driver of the region economy. When gold mining ended in the early 1920s, tourism sector has dominated in this region and even in the future the tourism sector will continue to employ a great number of people both from the local communities and outside.

Natural advantages and disadvantages

Daylesford has natural advantages in that it is was the first place in Australia where gold was discovered. This allowed the town to grow faster than its neighbors. In addition, visitors are attracted by the mineral and geothermal springs at Shire. These natural features are complemented by the world class spa resorts and wellness facilities. All these, plus the historical streetscapes, entertainment, fabulous art or a game of golf will make a visitor to tell a friend and come again. The presence of gold in the 19th century proved to be disadvantage to this region since the miners left the landscape that cannot be used for agricultural activities or real estate. The mining holes left open are also risky to the lives of the inhabitants and animals.

Past and Current Social Impacts

In Daylesford, tourism is a valuable sector and it contributes significantly to both local ands national economy. Most families in this region depend exclusively on income from tourism. Like any other economic activity, tourism has negative impacts on the local communities. There are concerns that the great number of international tourists visiting this region might affect the cultural identity of the local people. These fears are based on the observations from other popular tourists’ centers in the world where the locals have compromised their identity and adopted exotic cultures. However, these fears may not be well grounded because research shows that tourists visit Australia to experience the true character and personality of our towns.

Most of the negative social impacts of tourism are associated with the uncontrolled and massive tourism growth. Tourism is mainly dominated by private enterprises with a purpose of making profit through selling experiences. Sustainable tourism may be difficult to achieve much leading to environmental, social and cultural consequences.  Some of the main issues that tourism at Daylesford is likely to cause may seem insignificant but can really affect the lives of the local. Tourists intrude on daily life, loss of privacy as a community and a sense of overcrowding in social amenities. This makes the local feel annoyed by tourism development

Tourism can positively contribute to the social welfare of the local communities if they can change their mentality on tourism. Tourism can be used as an interface for cultural exchange making it possible for different communities and visitors both international and domestic to interact. This will allow them to learn about other people’s traditions and even come across new perception of life and society.

Another positive social contribution of tourism is raising awareness on the local brands and achievements. By selling local products to visitors it does not only have an economic benefit but also it helps to create a brand that is recognized nationally and internationally. When visitors come to visit the local the identify with a problem that could be existing in the community and raise awareness of the issues when they go back to their homes and this can get to the attention of the right people who will help to solve.

Tourism can also boost the conservation and transmission of historical and cultural traditions. This will contribute to the protection and sustainable management of natural resources, the protection of indigenous heritage, and a restoration of indigenous cultures, cultural arts and crafts(Gawler Visitor Information Centre, 2006).

Past and current environmental impacts and your recommendations for investing

With the increase in the number of visitors coming to Daylesford, there have been some negative impacts to the ecology. Most of the studies that have been done, do report on the impact of tourism activities only on the economic side ignoring the environmental dangers of these activities. It is important to analyze the impact of these activities because their rate of increase has gone up and they will negatively affect the economic activities if they are not addressed well (Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, 2010).

In the past, Daylesford authorities have ignored the environmental regulations that have been put in place by both local and national environmentalists which seek to protect natural features from damaged. This has contributed to the degradation from the huge and diverse demands placed on the environment by the large number of tourists who visit the natural sites like springs and lakes. There are three main areas of ecology that tourism in Daylesford has affected (Wong, 2005).

Fresh water is very important resource to any community whether a visitor or host. The increases in visitors have seen a rise in the misuse of fresh water in hotels, swimming pools golf courses and personal water by visitors. This might lead to water shortages and disruption of water supplies in future. It also leads to generation of larger volumes of waste water.

Tourism can also cause pressure on local resources like food, energy and other products that are on short supply. For example, people came to this land of Daylesford more than 150 years ago and depleted all the gold reserves and then left hazardous landscape that is inhabitable. Their activities led to land degradation. The current construction of tourism facilities has also increased pressure on the remaining land and this may affect even the scenic landscape that attract the tourists hence removing the essence of visiting these destination.

Air pollution has continued to increase as more air, road and rail traffic bombard this region with visitors. The carbon emissions from the transport of tourists will therefore also contribute the rise in global warming. Noise pollution from air planes has also gone up (Environmental Impacts of Tourism, 2008).

Investments Recommendations

Daylesford and Macedon Ranges offers more diversified investment opportunities than any other time in history because new sectors like art, retailing, health and community services have rapidly grown. If one invests in one of these sectors he or she will benefit from the rising number of tourists who prefer these destinations.

In addition to these services, there are still opportunities for development of high quality and large capacity accommodation with spa and well-being product. Development of tourism products associated with natural mineral water is another profitable sector (Tourism Victoria, 2008).

Conclusion

There are several reasons to visit Daylesford and Macedon Ranges for either day or night visitors. During the days visitors usually visit the market and explore mineral springs while the night visitors have are more focused on the spending emotive time together with their partner. If one wants to relax and rejuvenate; get the best experience of food and wine; luxury and indulgence as well as experience art and culture, then this is the best choice. The biggest percentage of visitors comes primarily because of the mineral springs as they are among the unique features in the whole country. Tourism has brought Daylesford both economical and social benefits although there is a great threat in the environment of the region if the local authorities of this town do not take appropriate measures to curb the impact of tourist explosion and construction.

 

 

 

 

 

References

Environmental Impacts of Tourism. (2008). Retrieved October 28, 2010, from http://www.gdrc.org/uem/eco-tour/envi/index.html

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism. (2010) Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges Visitor Profile and Satisfaction Report: Summary of results. Retrieved October 28, 2010, from http://www.ret.gov.au/tourism/Documents/tra/Destination%20Visitor%20Survey/VPS_Victoria_Daylesford_acc_FINAL.pdf

Gawler Visitor Information Centre. (2006). The Social & Cultural Impacts of Tourism. Retrieved October 28, 2010, from http://www.gawler.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/5_Gawler_Impacts_Tourism.PDF

Tourism Victoria. (2010). Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges. Retrieved October 28, 2010, from  http://www.tourism.vic.gov.au/marketing/marketing/daylesford-and-the-macedon-ranges/

Travel Victoria. (2010). Daylesford Information & Attractions. Retrieved October 28, 2010, from http://www.travelvictoria.com.au/daylesford/

Tourism Victoria (2008). Regional Tourism Action Plan 2009 – 2012.   Retrieved October 28, 2010, from http://www.tourism.vic.gov.au/images/stories/Documents/StrategiesandPlans/Regional-Tourism-Action-Plan-2009-2012.pdf

 

Vecci. (11 December, 2009). Mixed results from latest International Visitor Survey.

Retrieved October 28, 2010, from http://www.vecci.org.au/news/Pages/Mixed_results_from_latest_International_Visitor_Survey.aspx

 

Wong, C. (2005).The Environmental Impacts of a Festival: exploring the Application of the Ecological Footprint as a Measuring Tool. University of New South Wales

 


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