Mobilities and path dependence: challenges for tourism and 'attractive' industry development in a remote company town

Doris Carson, Dean Carson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper discusses the impacts of resource-based path dependence on alternative development scenarios in remote company towns, with a particular focus on understanding the prospects for new path creation in tourism and other “attractive” industries, such as retirement and lifestyle migration. The paper applies a mobilities perspective to the idea of path dependence in remote resource frontiers to analyse how the flows of people, skills and capital can become locked in by a range of factors, such as investments in infrastructure and transport technologies, established network connections for labour and knowledge provision, traditional economic development policies, and entrenched mobility cultures. The research examines the case of Nhulunbuy, a remote mining town in northern Australia, which currently faces severe socio-economic decline due to the closure of its alumina refinery. Using a range of secondary data sources, including population statistics and public documents, the case study traces Nhulunbuy's development path since the 1970s and identifies a number of exogenous and endogenous causes for the potential lock-in of its mobilities trajectory. The implications for alternative pathways in tourism and other “attractive” industries are discussed, focusing on identifying the institutional and infrastructural changes required to unlock mobility flows.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)460-479
    Number of pages20
    JournalScandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2014


    • attractive industries
    • company towns
    • mobilities
    • path dependence
    • remote
    • tourism


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