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Ships Ahoy! Research to Focus on Cruise Tourism

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Cruise tourism has witnessed unprecedented growth rates amidst greater interest in terms of new destinations and ships with an impressive array of features. There is some agreement within industry that the sector is likely to continue its growth trajectory given that many cruise tourists are sold to the idea of all-inclusive and value-based pricing strategies employed by many operators.


P&O Pacific Aria cruise ship berthed off Kingfisher Bay Resort  (Source: Herald, Sunday 27 May 2016)

From an academic perspective, cruise tourism promises economic and social sustainability, particularly from the perception of emerging destinations. However, others contend that cruise tourism raises significant pressures on island states, especially where pollution and waste disposal is concerned.

Dr Aaron Tham, a lecturer in tourism, leisure and events management with the University of the Sunshine Coast is conducting research focused on the development of cruise tourism to Fraser Island (K’Gari).

Despite its World Heritage listing, Fraser Island is extremely vulnerable to external stressors caused by tourism developments. Some studies have alluded to tourism activities that may have some negative environmental impacts, such as in the case of altering dingo behaviour. The island is also grid-free, does not generate its own food source and can only be accessed by 4WD vehicles. This insularity of the destination reiterates a highly precocious relationship with tourism. This project investigates the impacts of cruise tourism on Fraser Island.

Participants are sought to be involved in an online survey and/or a phone/video interview. Your involvement will be instrumental to guide the management and monitoring of cruise tourism impacts as the frequency of the cruise ships increases in 2017 and beyond.

For more information about the project, please download the Project Information Sheet or contact Dr Aaron Tham on (07) 5456 5071 or email mtham@usc.edu.au.  

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