Enhancing Niche Tourism: Prospects for south west Western Australia to integrate tourism and agri-food systems
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This research builds a profile and understanding of the capacity of regions to benefit from extending their traditional industrial base to include value-added niche activities. These investigations into locally based agri-food systems and niche tourism deliver research findings to support goals to capitalize on existing economic strengths/endowments and new economic and community development opportunities, particularly in relation to the South West region of Western Australia (WA). Objectives of the research are: • To holistically map the key elements, influences, and relationships in regional food systems to understand the opportunities and challenges of premium local food and associated products and niche tourism as a means to achieve sustainable regional development. • To establish impediments, opportunities and implications of using regional food systems as a niche tourism approach in the South West region of WA. Key research questions include: • How can locally grown produce and unique farming practices, together with tourism experiences, support niche tourism to promote local enterprise and regional economic development? • How can local food systems be developed to foster regional sustainability, community enrichment and local niche agri-food advantages? This research looks at two regions in southwestern WA, the South West and the Great Southern, in-depth by analyzing policy documents and interviewing food producers, policy-makers and retailers. Results give a deep insight into opportunities and challenges of agri-food niche tourism approaches. Policy areas that may be informed by the evidence presented in this report include regional development through specialist tourism and its possible role as a generator of regional prosperity and wellbeing. Advancement of regional agri-food systems and premium local products and their integration with niche tourism contributes to understanding the development strategies and initiatives that are most likely to contribute to the success of achieving WA's regional development plans.
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