Rural place marketing, tourism and creativity: Entering the post-productivist countryside
There is more to rural Australia than agriculture. Broadscale transitions in the economy have meant that farming (like manufacturing) has become more capital rather than labour intensive, while education, tourism, finance, and health and community services have become significant employment sectors. Economic activities centred on leisure, consumption and the creative arts are increasingly important. Even accounting for recent contraction, tourism is Australia's largest export earner, worth around $34 billion annually (Hooper and van Zyl 2011), while the creative industries are worth somewhere between A$20 and A$25 billion per annum, a figure comparable to that of the residential construction and road transport sectors (Gibson et al. 2002, Higgs et al. 2007). Such developments have stimulated efforts to reorientate regional economic development and employment away from 'traditional' bases towards a mix of leisure, lifestyle and creative activities.