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- Transitions: pathways towards sustainable urban development in Australia, 2008, 1, pp. 103 - 111
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Cities are always shaped by mobility - or, by flows - of people, money and goods. Changes are taking place globally that will influence the shape of urban destinations in the future. The coming decade and a half should see major shifts in the leisure and tourism environment reflecting changing consumer values, political forces, environmental changes and the explosive growth of information and communication technology. How urban destination managers and tourism operators respond to these changes will influence the way in which these destinations are developed. Since the future cannot be known with certainty, public and private sector tourism organisations must use the information they have today to allocate resources, maintain/achieve competitive advantage and to inform strategic planning for their destinations. A key element of a sustainable urban tourism industry is the ability to recognise and deal with change across a wide range of key factors. The challenge for urban tourism destination managers is to account for these changes pro-actively to achieve and maintain competitive advantage for their destinations. To realise these goals it is important to know how world events influence consumers and suppliers of goods and services and consequently how this shapes urban tourism environments. There is increasing competition in the tourism and hospitality industries - between urban destinations worldwide (between established markets and from new markets), between urban destinations domestically, and between firms within an urban destination. Achieving competitive advantage in times of rapid change requires tourism stakeholders to have a clear understanding of the direction of change and its implications for destination management.
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