Inside the Pleasure Dome: Cultural Tourism on Australia’s Gold Coast

Susan Carson


In 2018 the City of the Gold Coast in south-east Queensland, Australia, will host the next Commonwealth Games.  The City is made up a 57 km stretch of coastline and hinterland divided by a major highway. The famous surfing beaches are framed by high-rise development while the hinterland is marketed as a green, unspoilt environment.  The winning bid for the Games, and discussion about future infrastructure and marketing of the region’s attributes, has focussed attention on the way City residents and policy makers think about their region in broad terms. Whereas in the past tourism marketing has been directed towards the pleasures of sun and surf by day and bright lights by night, various regional tourist stakeholders are beginning to reorient their programs. This paper considers some of the competing aims of the various stakeholders in this region and the interaction of existing ‘cultures’ with new technology and the demands of permanent residents, using data from a case study of e-literary trails developed in Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland. The importance of tourist imaginaries as a basis for using rich accounts of the past for future planning is emphasized.


Australia; Gold Coast; Culture; Tourism; Nobile Narratives; Digital

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2036-5195/4032


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