Road mapping recovery from the impacts of multiple crises: framing the role of domestic self-drive tourism in regional South Australia

Gareth Butler, Gerti Szili, Cecile Cutler, Iain Hay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In regional South Australia, a combination of droughts, bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic has presented dynamic challenges to tourism economies. As inbound international tourism remains unlikely to return to pre-COVID-19 levels for the foreseeable future, the importance of domestic tourism has become further pronounced, most notably in regions that have been affected by major declines in tourist flows. This exploratory qualitative study reports on regional South Australians’ participation in domestic tourism during the pandemic and the factors that have influenced how they travel. Our findings reveal that participants had predominantly engaged in self-drive tourism due to the feelings of safety it offered in contrast to other modes of transport, the opportunities it permitted in fostering reconnections and supporting wellbeing, and because of its ability to evoke positive feelings and emotions that were structured around adventure and discovery. Moreover, it was additionally observed that self-drive tourism offered practical opportunities to engage in altruistic pursuits to support crisis-affected regions across the state. Therefore, this paper offers timely insights into the behaviours of regional South Australians during the pandemic and how they utilised self-drive tourism to support both personal and community recovery from the impacts of multiple crises across the state.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Tourism and Cultural Change
Early online date17 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • altruism
  • COVID-19
  • economic recovery
  • environmental crises
  • Self-drive tourism
  • South Australia

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