THE ROLE OF NICHE ADVENTURE TOURISM IN ENHANCING DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT – CASE STUDY OF BIKEPARK WALES IN MERTHYR TYDFIL
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This dissertation is aimed to provide the history, current position and future of BikePark Wales in Merthyr Tydfil. The purpose of this was to identify the role of niche adventure tourism and whether this type of tourism can be responsible for regenerating a destination in terms of job creation and economic benefits. Key themes and topics have been discussed in the literature review in order to understand what is meant by such terms and to compare this to the results gathered from this research project. The dissertation identifies the industrial heritage of Merthyr Tydfil and the negative impact that the loss of these industries has had in terms of high unemployment for the area, highlighting that this has led to economic deprivation. The dissertation also looks at the developments that Merthyr Tydfil and BikePark Wales has seen to date using the Destination Management Plan 2012-2015. The future plans of Merthyr Tydfil have also been noted from the Destination Management Plan 2015-2018. Research was gathered by distributing questionnaires to 60 visitors to BikePark Wales in order to gather information about their use of BikePark Wales and what facilities they use whilst in Merthyr Tydfil. Research was also conducted through interviews with 2 members of staff from Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council which provided information on the history of Merthyr Tydfil and how tourism has been identified as a growth area in order to regenerate the area of Merthyr Tydfil. An interview was also carried out with one of the directors from BikePark Wales in order to discuss the development and their future plans such as expansion. Analysis was conducted on all the research methods which enabled conclusions to be carried out. The conclusion has identified the key impacts that BikePark Wales has had on Merthyr Tydfil in terms of destination development and recommendations were given as to how the tourism offering within Merthyr Tydfil can be improved in order to complement the existing adventure tourism product.
(BA Hons) International Tourism Management
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