"Road-based tourism is one of the fastest growing and most important (tourism) niches ... travelers using these transport modes ... have become vital players in the economic fortunes of regional and remote (areas)."Source: Australian Government's 2004 Tourism Policy White Paper
Road Tourism 2: Regional road tourism - a more actively strategic focus neededEven where state government policies exist to boost rural economic growth by encouraging the regional dispersion of visitors away from larger cities, the focus has often been placed on only marketing each regional destination’s attractions. With the key travel routes, driver/passenger needs, transport links & modes, satellite visitor experiences and necessary facilities & support services lightly addressed or unsatisfactorily integrated.MISSING RELATIONSHIPS: A symptom of this outlook - that clearly ignores visitor behaviour and travel interests - is the way many official city, county, regional & state mapssimply 'stop dead' at their (administratively defined) road borders. Failing to locate via added map means, the wider locational context & travel/highway relationships. DOTTED LINES: Yet in practice (from a traveler's perspective), most borders are just imaginary, historically created 'dotted lines' on the landscape. Frequently companion tourism websites also reflect such short sighted ('border-limited') approaches to road tourism content provision & marketing. But including such cross-border content options is totally feasible, using e.g. such simple means as inset maps, to offer that missing broader perspective.Integration & simplification of priority visitor informationIn effect, integrated and effectively targeted, 'one-stop' information supply for visitors should be a vital contemporary marketing goal ... one that structures and simplifiestheir planning process as much as possible.This is certainly not the case when the marketing simply ceases at city or county borders, makingadditional phases of visitor information gathering necessary. Wider regional, crossover-marketing recognises real world, travel behaviours and needs. It acknowledges that - e.g. most major cities are being used in a travel ‘hub & spoke’ mode. With the city’s own tourism appeal strengthened by the added draw cards of its surrounds. Increasing length of stay & spend. Ignoring this means dismissing the road-based travel behaviours & patterns of many 'longer distance' visitors. With many worthy travel options, including extra experiences and destinations, potentially closed off to them. Ready availability of such companion information not only helps spread tourism’s benefits more widely, but also acknowledges that planning to allocate extra trip time for added experience options normally occurs in advance of a visit.Destinations must fully meet tourists' desire for the best tips and best local advice (i.e. trustworthy/'conflict free') too - on the most rewarding & memorable local and regional travel experiences along a route. Including, hot tips on food, accommodation, attractions, scenic drives, and more.[...] READ MORE: THEMED TRAILS & TOURIST DRIVES
To travelers, most borders are just imaginary dotted lines ..