Measuring tourism as the economic driver of Australian sea change communities

Richard HU, Edward Blakely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The sea change phenomenon – the population movement from metropolitan areas or inland regional centers to coastal regions – has attracted increasing attention from academics and policy-makers in Australia. In this paper, we move from a demographic perspective to an integrative perspective to approach Australian sea change communities. We construct a new typology of the sea change communities, which reflects both population change and economic change. Through examining the economic bases of 15 representative sea change communities across Australia, we find that: (1) overall, tourism industries are the dominant local economic drivers, and the dominance has been strengthening; (2) the sea change communities differ from each other in the local economic drivers, and the determining factors include distance from the metropolitan center, population size, and population density; and (3) there is a new trend of growing importance of cultural and recreational services in driving the local economies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-335
Number of pages13
JournalCommunity Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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