This paper reports on a study of community attitudes to a publicly owned heritage tourism attraction in a regional Australian centre. The attraction, an authentic reproduction of a 19th-century riverboat, was built as an Australian bicentennial project in 1988, with the aim of her becoming the region's primary tourism attraction. However, over the years it has proved to be a non-viable attraction, requiring an ongoing council subsidy of up to $A200,000 per year to keep it operational. The council is under strong pressure to divest itself of the vessel, which will mean its closure and likely removal from the community. The study found strong support for council retention and continued subsidisation of its operations. However, the study also raises questions about the efficacy of community involvement in the decision-making process. In this instance, emotional attachment to the attraction, rather than a rational assessment of its future, drives community attitudes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management