Historic waterfronts as tourism precincts: an experiental perspective

Palgrave Macmillan Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Tourism and Hospitality Research, 2007, 7 (1), pp. 3 - 16
Issue Date:
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Over the last few decades, urban waterfronts worldwide have become places of significant change. Many have essentially lost their working port functions and have been redeveloped for other purposes, often incorporating significant leisure and tourism functions. Others, however, have maintained a significant portion of their original commercial maritime activities, but have still become a focus for leisure and tourism pursuits. This paper explores two such waterfront precincts in major Australian cities: Fremantle in Perth and Williamstown in Melbourne, places with long histories in shipping but very recent histories in tourism. The focus of the paper is on understanding how tourists experience these places, and what it is about such precincts that contribute most to their touristic appeal. The basis for the research was a series of structured interviews with both domestic and international visitors to each precinct. Fifty-six individual interviews were conducted in Williamstown and 30 interviews involving 48 individuals were conducted in Fremantle. In both cases, the interviews were conducted over a two-day period.
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