|Type||Journal Article - Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management|
|Title||Building small destination resilience to the impact of bushfire: A case study|
This article draws on the findings of a recent study undertaken to investigate the impact of bushfire on the tourism economy of Harrietville, a small town in North East Victoria, Australia. The study had a particular focus on the impact of the ‘Harrietville Fire’ that burnt for 55 days in early 2013. While the fire did not actually cause a loss of lives or property within Harrietville, road access to the town was closed for effectively three months of 2013 due to both the fire and post-fire flooding. Informed by a visitor survey and in-depth interviews with diverse stakeholders, the Destination Sustainability Framework (DSF) was applied to reveal adaptations necessary for the town to minimise the economic effects of future fire events. The need for tourism planning and improved stakeholder communications emerged as key priorities. This article illustrates the application of the DSF in one small destination, explores the value of the framework in terms of bringing community perspectives on risk and recovery to the foreground, and provides insights that might be applied to similar small destinations in Australia reliant on nature-based attractions to underpin the tourism economy.