Seaside towns and local enterprise partnerships

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A presentation based on a paper for the ATHE 2010 conference

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  • The notion of peripherality is most often considered from an economic and spatial perspective, with the ‘periphery’ representing an area’s outer limits or edge. In terms of physical distance, a periphery is usually considered as a place that is a long distance from a centre (Nash & Martin, 2003). This means that peripheral areas are often distant from core spheres of activity, and as a result have limited market opportunities. They often have an industry that is in decline which leads to their economic marginalisation. These areas often have close-knit communities lacking in education, training and both public and private capital. Firms are usually SMEs that are fragmented and lack know-how in areas such as marketing and innovation. Further, the population may well be small, declining or ageing. For peripheral areas there is often a failure of private decision-making systems which forces central authorities to take on a greater role (Wanhill, 1997). Thus, a periphery can be characterised as being on the margins of centres of wealth and of the processes of capital accumulation and also as being on the margins of political decision-making (Brown & Hall, 2000).Peripherality can also refer to people’s subjective perceptions of a place as peripheral to a centre (Nash & Martin, 2003), usually due to perceptions of accessibility. For instance, a destination with excellent motorway or rail links may be perceived as more accessible and less ‘peripheral’ than closer destinations without such links (Robbins, 1997 as cited in Brown & Hall, 2000). Further, an area’s peripherality can be more than merely a notion of geographical distance. In modern parlance, to describe something as peripheral is often to dismiss it as unimportant and of no interest to the majority (Brown & Hall, 2000). Peripherality is inevitably a relative concept.
  •    British seaside towns share many characteristics that contribute to their peripheral nature. For instance, they are geographically distant from their respective regional cores, and some areas are considered peripheral due to their real or perceived inaccessibility. In terms of capital, they are often dependent on central governments for funding due to a weak local economic base; they may also be on the margins of political decision-making. Conversely, peripheral areas often possess tourism attributes that are no longer present at the core, such as the traditional and the unspoilt. This is in contrast to the symbolic associations of the centre which are the inauthentic, the jaded and the modern (Scott, 2000). On a global scale, the developed core is said to be the home of the world’s tourists that holiday in peripheral tourist destinations, creating what has been termed the ‘pleasure periphery’ (Turner & Ash, 1976). In much the same way, Britain’s seaside resorts have historically developed as a ‘pleasure periphery’ for those working and living in urban centres.
  • This research has followed a non-probability sampling method (Bryman & Bell 2007) described as purposeful sampling (Cresswell & Plano Clark 2007: 112) in choosing the LEPs to be examined in order to carry out exploratory research into contemporary seaside tourism development. We have applied Beatty & Fothergill’s (2003) categorisation to identify which LEP submissions include seaside towns. This generated an initial list of 25 LEPs of relevance to this study (see table 1). On [insert date] the new coalition government in the UK published a white paper on economic development which announced that a selection of LEP proposals had been successful in the first instance and could now proceed to the development stage. In table 2, below, we have listed those LEPs which contain seaside towns and which have been successful in their initial application for government approval. This second list has been taken as the sample for this exploratory research. By analysing the arrangements for tourism and economic development set out in these new LEP frameworks we have been able to test the validity of CPT as a conceptual framework and also to ensure that our research is able to contribute to the development of policy in these regions.
  • One of the defining features of the core-periphery relationship is the idea of domination of the periphery by the core Is there a relationship of dependency? –reliance on the core for tourists, promotion, investment, decision-making etc…
  • Seaside towns and local enterprise partnerships

    1. 1. Seaside towns and Local Enterprise Partnerships: domestic tourism in a core periphery context<br />James Kennell & Dr. Samantha Chaperon<br />Department of Marketing, Events and Tourism<br />Business School<br />University of Greenwich<br />
    2. 2. Overview<br />
    3. 3. Seaside towns...<br />are seaside resorts, rather than just all developed areas by the sea – this excludes towns whose main function is as a port or industrial centre;<br />are significant urban areas in their own right, rather than suburbs of larger settlements or sections of a settlement that happen to be by the sea;<br />had a population of over 8,000 in 1971<br />(Beatty & Fothergill 2003)<br />
    4. 4. Peripherality<br />‘Peripherality’ as an economic and spatial notion<br />Perceived ‘peripherality’ <br />Characteristics of peripheral places:<br />Limited market opportunities<br />Industry in decline<br />Close-knit communities<br />Lacking in education and training<br />Lack of public and private capital<br />Small, declining or ageing population<br />Failure of private decision-making systems<br />
    5. 5. Seaside towns as peripheral places<br />Peripheral places are on the margins of centres of wealth, the processes of capital accumulation and also political decision-making (Brown & Hall, 2000)<br />
    6. 6. The neglect of seaside towns<br />Structural decline post-1974<br />Restructuring of UK and international tourism markets<br />Central government has ‘consistently failed’ (Morgan & Pritchard 1999) to intervene <br />Seaside towns consistently underperform economically, and have poor social outcomes for citizens<br />Peripherality poorly understood as a contributing factor<br />No seaside strategy until March 2010<br />
    7. 7.
    8. 8. Local Enterprise Partnerships<br />Announced June 2010<br />New, business-led economic development partnerships<br />Sub-regional<br />No central guidance<br />Tourism responsibility<br />
    9. 9. Methodology<br />Exploratory research<br />Purposeful sample of approved LEPs that cover ‘seaside towns’ (7)<br />Random sample of pending LEPs that cover ‘seaside towns’ (7)<br />Qualitative content analysis<br />
    10. 10. Content analysis<br />Adapted from Weaver, D.B. (1998) Peripheries of the Periphery. Tourism in Tobago and Barbuda. Annals of Tourism Research 25 (2):292-313<br />
    11. 11. Findings<br />The new LEPs do not recognise the Peripherality of seaside towns as a key element in sub-regional growth – with one exception<br />The new LEPs are not innovative in terms of tourism development for seaside towns, relying on outdated ideas of growth<br />The LEP model does not , in itself, offer a brighter future for tourism to seaside towns, or for their development in other regards.<br />
    12. 12. Contribution of CPT to future work<br />CPT highlights areas of dependence and structural inequality that can inform policy on a spatial basis<br />To apply CPT in the LEP context requires a strategic overview that only central government can provide<br />Applying CPT in this domestic tourism context offers areas of future research focus<br />
    13. 13. Next steps<br />2010/11 – Monitoring of LEP evolution, including new green lighted proposals<br />2010/11 – Analysis of new regional tourism governance frameworks as they emerge<br />2011 – Interviews with key informants<br />2011 – Establishment of key indicators for monitoring seaside LEP arrangements against CPT / tourism indicators<br />

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