15 July 2009

In my mind

Policy networks and the local organisation of tourism

Dianne DredgeCorresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author

School of Environmental Planning, Griffith University, Nathan. QLD 4111, Australia

Received 8 April 2004;
accepted 14 October 2004.
Available online 1 February 2005.


Networks spanning public and private sectors are increasingly important in shaping tourism planning and development. In many destinations, the formal and informal relationships between local government and industry have a considerable effect on the capacity of the destination to harness these public–private partnerships. By way of a case study of Lake Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia, this paper investigates relationships between local government and industry to critically discuss the role of networks in fostering or inhibiting public–private sector partnership building. The findings suggest that fostering an environment in which innovative public–private partnerships can emerge, requires careful management between state and societal dominance be achieved and that the relationship between the active tourism network and the wider, passive community be explicitly managed.

Keywords: Public–private partnerships; Local tourism association; Local government; Tourism; Networks
Article Outline

1. Introduction
2. Tourism, networks and destination management
3. Researching networks

3.1. How do we identify and investigate the networks in operation?
3.2. How do we decide what aspects of the networks to investigate?
3.3.How do we identify the influence of networks in developing public private partnerships?
3.4. How will the evidence be treated?

4. Case study context
5. Historical antecedents
6. Analysis: the influence of networks on public–private partnerships
7. Discussion: managing networks
8. Conclusions