Wollongong as a tourism destination?

Wollongong as a tourism destination?

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For destinations that have traditionally been heavy and manufacturing, is there an opportunity for those destinations to have any tourism? Most of these towns or cities where the manufacturing or the heavy industry declines; declines due to technology improvements or globalization How can these destinations provide economic development for their local community? One example is Wollongong, on the south coast of New South Wales, just 1 hour south of Sydney Wollongong, affectionately known as the Gong, is my home town. So with the decline of heavy industry, what does the destination marketers do. Well, Destination Wollongong, as they are known now have done a range of marketing activities. The first one, was to brand Wollongong as the Leisure Coast. Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, already taken in Australia so Wollongong is affectionately known as the Leisure Coast. And then it tries to promote other attractions. Now Wollongong University is quite well known and to some extent, Wollongong is a university town. It also has the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere, which is Nan Tien Wollongong also used to have the bumper sticker, I heart the Gong And another way is to use some of the industrial heritage as a tourist attraction. Go and have a look at Industry World , rebranded as Inside Industry, which shows you the Steelworks. The steelworks is located just south of Wollongong’s city centre. It’s located there because of the deep water harbour. One example of an industrial heritage attraction but still working steelworks is here down in Wollongong here at Bluescope, formerly known as BHP. BHP stood for Broken Hill Proprietary. We’re going to go for a tour, a bit later, into the steelworks, but we have to wear protective clothes. Very important. As with any sort of educational tourist attraction, interpretation is the key and so here at Industry World, rebranded Inside Industry, they’ve set up a Visitor Centre, where you can take a tour of the steelworks. Industry World is still, while its part of tourism, it’s still an active steelworks so to take the tour we need wear the protective jacket, the hat, the goggles to be safe. I’m ready to go. Our tour was guided by two volunteers who were retirees from the steelworks. They were a wealth of knowledge about the steelworks explaining how steel was made as well as a history of the steelworks. At its peak in the 1970s, the steelworks here employed 23,000 workers from the region This has decreased to about 3,000 now. However, the steelworks supports up to about 10,000 in the region because of the multiplier effect. Part of the decrease in the jobs has been due to outrsourcing where previously these employees were employed directly by Bluescope, the steelworks. Now, they are done by contractors, essentially the same jobs done by different companies. But the main reason of the lowering of the number of jobs is because of increased technology. Basically, jobs that were very labour-intensive in the past are now automated and done by machine. On the tour, we did actually go into the steelworks to see where the steel was made, however, we couldn’t do any video shooting there due to safety reasons. We even got to see where Jimmy Barnes filmed the video clip for Working Class Man. So for steel cities like Wollongong, like Newcastle New South Wales in Australia, Pittsburgh – the steel city in the US, the destination marketers have to keep re-inventing and highlight other attractions. So Wollongong has great beaches. It has good restaurant and eating attractions. And it has good nature and bush walks as well. And it also has industrial heritage – a still working steelworks and coal mines but these have been shrinking but they can be used to highlight the history of the region and made into an attraction for tourists.

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