chapter  14
15 Pages

The diversification of the commercial home: evidence from regional Australia

ByBRIAN KING, LEANNE WHITE

This chapter examines the commercial home phenomenon in Australia and draws upon the destination region of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs in Victoria to exemplify how changing fashions have led to a diversification of the concept as the destination has recently recaptured the popularity that it enjoyed as a spa destination during the Victorian era. The chapter examines the early development of the guesthouse, incorporating nostalgic associations with migrant cultures including the Swiss-Italians. It charts the subsequent replacement of guesthouses by motels and the recent emergence of a more diverse range of commercial homes. The diversification has occurred in response to the changing demands of domestic and international visitors as well as to the pursuit of home-based tourism opportunities by both locals and by incomers attracted by semi-rural lifestyle. An examination of changing visitor preferences and fluctuating accommodation provision can provide insights into the diversification of the commercial home in areas outside Australia’s main urban centres.