Event tourism governance and the public sphere
Political and sociological shifts have profoundly affected state, business and civil society relationships. This paper explores governance as a new form of public-private policymaking wherein stakeholders deliberate on and take action to achieve common goals. It examines how different public spheres facilitate (or not) sustainability debates, and specifically facilitate (or not) discussion about sustainable tourism. Using a case study of the 2009 Australian World Rally Championship, the paper explores the development of the public sphere. Tuckman's group development process - forming, storming, norming and performing - is employed as a lens to understand these processes. Key findings include: the way the public sphere is constituted has a major influence on the dialogue that takes place; citizens are currently reactive, rather than strategic and creative in their engagement; the "third way" project, seeking to empower communities, requires government commitment; there is a blurring of public-private interests; control of knowledge and expertise within the public sphere is largely controlled by corporate and state interests; fast action to secure events prevents debate and engagement; and a discursive public sphere is essential for transparent and accountable governance, and sustainable development, and to move beyond government by powerful corporate interests and extra-local rule systems.
Journal of Sustainable Tourism,