Mountain Resorts in Summer: Defining the Image
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This chapter portrays visitors' and non-visitors' perceptions of traditional winter destinations in alpine mountain regions as possible summer destinations. The geographical region of this study is the Victorian 'alpine' mountains (Australia). In the first stage of the study, eight focus groups (four of previous visitors; four of non-visitors) were conducted, consisting of approximately 70 participants in total. The second stage consisted of a survey of 260 respondents in the Melbourne CBD to gauge the perceptions of the general public regarding the potential of ski resorts as summer holiday destinations. Results indicate that traditional ski resorts in Victoria portray a mixed image as summer holiday destinations. The Victorian mountains do not hold a strong image as a summer destination. Most of the non-visitor respondents admitted that they had not visited the mountains in the summer because it had never occurred to them to do so. The lack of awareness coupled with the strong beach culture in Australia creates a non-image effect for the mountains in the summer. Furthermore, while the mountains portray a clear and positive image for some people in relation to their physical and natural features, there is a need to overcome perceptions of remoteness, cost and unpleasant weather.
Nature-Based Tourism in Peripheral Areas: Development or Disaster?