Local government tourism represents the third tier of public sector tourism. While state and national tourism organizations are chiefly responsible for the design and implementation of tourism strategies and national and international marketing campaigns, it is the lesser-known local government authorities that shoulder the responsibility for promoting the regional tourism product. This article reports on a study of local government tourism officers conducted in the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. The study raises a number of questions about the level of professionalism in the local government tourism field. Local government tourism officers generally lack formal educational qualifications in tourism or marketing and have little prior tourism industry or public sector tourism experience. This sector also records a high turnover rate of between 40% and 50% per annum. In addition, gender preferences were noted in hiring practices: men typically were appointed to manage larger, better-funded organizations, while women were appointed as either managers of tourist information centers or to support managerial positions in large organizations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management