Fringe Tourism

Robert Maitland (Chapter 5) begins this section of the book with a thought-provoking look at the spaces between the urban to rural spectrum. His chapter asks us to consider the off-the-beaten-track areas that explorer type tourists have sought within inner cities and navigate these concepts to a new area of research on suburbs. Robert notes the lack of investigation and calls for an approach to learning from inner city examples while also identifying the growth of tourism in areas surrounding urban locales. He argues that suburbia may become increasingly attractive to visitors, offering a ‘real’ experience, the search for the authentic or that opportunity to experience ‘everyday life’ within a destination - adding a new unexplored area of research potential to tourism and social science studies.

Susan L. Slocum and Kynda R. Curtis (Chapter 6) build upon some of the questions raised in Chapter 5 through an exploration into farm shops as a form of suburban tourism development. They highlight the usefulness of creative exploration interests which are congruent with the explosion of creative food and beverage industries. Their chapter begins by linking the search for the ‘authentic’ and experiential opportunities to venues within suburban areas. This section highlights the uniqueness of suburban areas and opportunities to support local development within them and the rural areas they connect. The point, specifically, is that farm shops are an excellent example of supporting ‘local’ attributes and the people connected to them, which highlights the importance of local within a destination’s tapestry of opportunities. This acknowledgment may assist planners and developers in understanding the diversity of landscapes supporting a larger field of stakeholders, stemming from the inner city to rural landscapes - increasing innovation and enhancing community and tourism experiences.

Carol Kline, Lauren Duffy and Dana Clark (Chapter 7) argue the rural- urban divide may not be a relevant construct. They present a challenge to explore and recognize the role of tourism in creating layered identities in communities where not only tourists are influenced, but also those interested in relocating to these communities. Their findings suggest the views of residents and non-residents have implications for marketing and educational programmes and what they have termed ‘interventions’. Their findings shed light on potential conflicts that arise, influences on garnering support for tourism growth and development, as well as varying opinions on important attributes in and surrounding rural communities and the fringe regions. The results also highlight important strategic directions as tourism and communities continue to grow.

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