Local infrastructure in Australian tourist destinations: modelling tourism demand and estimating casts of water provisions and operation

Tourism Infrastructure Water Water conservation Victoria New South Wales
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With so many tourist activities in Australia, consideration must be given to the impact of the tourist on the environments in which they are located. Sustainable practices and in particular those associated with water use and wastewater production are important in planning for current tourist activity and future growth of visitors in urban and rural areas.

The objectives of this research include an investigation and review of the options available to provide, operate and fund water and wastewater infrastructure to meet growing tourism needs in a sustainable manner. This has led to the development of a modelling framework for facilitating a range of analysis related to water use at Australian tourism destinations. The adopted modelling methodology includes procedures for estimating base year and forecasted tourist population at the tourist destination, water and wastewater demands associated with the visitor population, infrastructure required to satisfy water demands at the tourism region and the cost of such infrastructure provisions. This is achieved by incorporating tourist and residential population estimation for a base year and for a series of forecast future years. Population estimations are based on current and available survey data including regional tourism surveys, international and national visitor surveys and Australian census data. Water and wastewater requirements for these combined populations at the tourist destination are calculated with inclusions for irrigation based on CROPWAT software outputs. The corresponding costs of water provision and wastewater collection can then be summarised, based on the preceding estimations. To allow for application to all Australian tourism localities, the modelling process is adapted to suit data that is readily available or easily collected and involves principles that can be readily applied by the user. This methodology outlines some urban water use and wastewater production statistics across Australian capital cities, useful in later calculations.

Case study applications of the model are developed for the Australian tourist destinations of Daylesford in Victoria and Byron Bay in New South Wales. Analysis includes full calculations for the water and wastewater needs and associated costs for the forecast year of 2031. Some key findings from the analysis are that for the year 2031, the costs associated with Daylesford’s residential and tourist population demand will be $32,289,650 for the total water demand and $11,128,000 for wastewater treatment. For the town of Byron Bay in 2031, these costs will be $53,601,500 for the total water demand and $18,644,000 for wastewater treatment.

Major benefits of this research include better knowledge and understanding of tourist demands, and the need for water and wastewater infrastructure and analytical tools, enabling councils and other authorities to quantify present and future tourist demands, infrastructure requirements to meet demand, and the associated costs of infrastructure provision and operation.

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