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Experience Economy In Sydney S Powerhouse Museum Tourism Essay

Powerhouse Museum is a government-owned public establishment located in Darling Harbour, Sydney. It is a primary institution that meets the publics need for data sets that related to history, science, technology¦arts, music, transport, and space exploration. Duly under the statutory authority of Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Act (1945), the museum is run on daily basis by the board of trustees, as appointed by the Minister of Arts, and with the director who will consolidate the trustee members and subcommittees on museums helm.

Based on Pine and Gilmore framework on what experience economy is, the tourism drawn in Powerhouse Museum is an apt description on such concept. Through a distinct educational purpose, people are still willing to pay for the intentional engagement of memorable encounters, as characterized by experience economy. Moreover, as the function of this type of economy is likely stage, as such with the activities in Powerhouse Museum, it attracts the guests to the place”in a strategic moves of creative, scientific and traditional programs. This fits Pine and Gilmores concept of consumer experience: entertainment, educational, escapist, and esthetic.¯ As Powerhouse Museum is primarily educational in function, the experience derived would definitely a cultural and adventurous part of tourism boost.

On the demand side of experience economy of Powerhouse Museum, there is said to be a higher demand for such educational experience, if basing from the higher participants recorded on 2010. In combination with higher GDP rate in Sydney, this shows better economic factors (income, time, and price), and demographic patterns as part of the economic influences of demand. Demographic extremities of young groups and older adult groups, with inclusion of disability groups, serve to encompass the guest statistics of the museum, as their numbers are increasing through the years. Its income appeared to be equally distributed as people can afford the museums rate, while time off for holidays is much longer in Australia, 30 days and extra regular holidays. The factor of price determines the nature of demand, influencing perspectives of tourist experience museums.

On the supply concept, the presence of more museums in the NSW appeared to show an overabundance of such industry, where they offer distinct experiences but of similar purposes. Disequilibrium can take place with oversupply, as well as inefficiency in the delivery of valuable experience. Powerhouse Museums strategic plan to counteract supply problems include improvement of infrastructure for disabled groups, while targeting the young generations through more innovative educational experience, aside from the usual social historical perspectives common in museums. In recognition of community and industrial partnership, the distribution of experience concepts can be widely distributed on the community and business scale, boosting the popularity of the museum, in return-becoming active participants of the economic experience.

The involvement of the State government, being the chief owner of Powerhouse Museum, is more of a regulatory and monitoring body that ensures their elected trustee members are doing their job with prudent ethics and professional practice. Although they provide grants for ongoing museum operations, the trustee members and subcommittee officers strive to generate more funds for better experience concepts. The latter are independently empowered to function according to the publics needs, basing from the passive presence of State government in overseeing the activities of Powerhouse Museum.

All in all, the Powerhouse museum needs to continue its upgrading schemes, which requires more funds, in order to be on top of the economic scale, where its latest attraction are is the laboratory and technological environment. Another key that must be pointed out is the elasticity of the price on the demand side. Extra fees, aside from the entrance fees, for various activities may possibly affect demand, and the museum must be prudent enough to regulate such strategy or suffer lesser guest rates in the future.

Introduction

It is not surprising to note that the extent of peoples motivation to learn and explore something new appeared to be the primary impetus that drives them to several lengths in order to experience such occurrences. Significantly, the review in the report on About the Powerhouse Museum had demonstrated that the said establishment appeared to understand such desire in individuals, as it seeks to provide novel and innovative experiences through the mixture of both cultural heritage and the modern innovations, at simultaneous approaches. Currently located in the Ultimo, and can be traced on the landmark provided by Darling Harbour in Sydney, this establishment aspires to serve the public needs, with provisions that may encompass information sets related to history, science, technology¦arts, music, transport, and space exploration¯ (Anon., n.d.). The variety of experiences appeared to be strategic on the part of the institutions management, as its guests can be from different age groups, where the young ones would be prefer technological innovations that piques their interest in science, while the much older age range would favor ideas and presentations that reminds them of their younger days, where they can trace their roots and heritage through cultural representations in the said museum.

In line with such strategic approach to arts and tourism, the Powerhouse Museum had continually pursued more interesting endeavors while stamping its unique and diversified offering to the public, where educational programs for different age brackets are being exhibited for public enjoyment. The said museum is primarily claimed by the State Government of Australia, specifically the New South Wales (NSW), to invigorate the domestic and international tourism scenes by infusing more dynamic approaches with the establishment. As a public sector of vast institutional spread, the administrative management behind Powerhouse Museum is quite extensive in structure and interactions. Authorized as a statutory body based on the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Act (1945),¯ such regulatory mandate dictates that the management of the museum be under the ruling of nine members of the Board of Trustees, and as reviewed in the Public Guide, they are entrusted the overall responsibility of overseeing to the external and internal supervision of daily activities in the museum. As one can observe in Figure 1 (please see Appendix A), the appointment the trustee members largely depends on the governments Ministry of Arts, and they collaborate with the local organization, the Communities NSW, for better provisions of economic activities. To a point, a director is assigned as the facilitator of different activities within the organization, where committees had been arranged for focused responsibilities in necessary fields to keep the operation and sustainability of Powerhouse Museum at stable status. With the integrated and comprehensive network of management in the establishment, any deviations and changes can be counteracted promptly, while improvements are aptly instigated for the publics experiential consumption.

Analysis through Pine and Gilmore Framework

Powerhouse Museum offers educational experiences that may be stamped in the memory of most of its guests. Freestone and Gibson (2004) had categorized the economic activity rendered by the said museum as more cultural in concept, where it may serve as the building agent chiefly focused on arts and innovative projects. As such, the cultural context exhibited by the Powerhouse Museum is associated as a raw resource creatively utilized by the state as an attention-grabbing concept that holds the interest of guests for a period of time”long enough to educationally bombard their senses with the sights, sounds and textures offered by the artifacts held within the museum. As part of prioritized activities by the museum, most of the sections in the building had been designated as an educational environment, such as the Thinkspace labs, seeking to technologically update the guests (students, teachers, and intellectual adults) through different themes and collections that engages the intellectual and creative processes of inquisitive guests (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, 2010). In the absence of consumer products and service provisions, people are still willing to pay for intentional engagement in memorable encounters, showing another side of the market”the experience economy.

In the framework formulated by Pines and Gilmore (1999), the existence of experience economy is said to be the additional concept, aside from commodities, consumptive goods, and services offered in the market. Unlike the functions employed in other economic offerings, the experiences elicited in this category are more likely staged, enticing the sensory stimulation of its guests for more memorable episodes. Based on such economic distinctions on experience, one can deduce that this is exactly what Powerhouse Museum aspired to attain in its daily operations. The value placed on educational experiences, as established by the museum, serves as the driving force that keeps the people drawn towards it. More to a point, the strategies formulated by the museum, ranging from creative, scientific, and traditional programs, will be the main public attractions that promise experiences that are unique in the said establishment. In partnership with the community and related industrial establishments, its approaches are said to be diverse and highly agile in both informational content and delivery of staged experiences. Conceptually, these techniques fit the experiential illustration introduced by Pine and Gilmore (1998), as determined in the four sections in consumer experience, entertainment, educational, escapist, and esthetic,¯ and subsequently determine how establishment proceeds with distributing the experiential approaches (as cited in Hosany & Witham, 2009). Powerhouse Museum, then, operates primarily on the experiential concept that is more educational, as it gets the attention of its guests by presenting innovations that had not been seen in other establishments, while this secondarily utilizes the entertainment section to immerse the attention of its audience on the sensory stimulations present within the walls of the museum. Such attributes makes the experience economy a success in modern times--as imaginatively offered by Powerhouse Museum. It is a worthy tourist destination, and one that offers both adventure and cultural appeal (please see Figure 2 in Appendix B). In this note, Powerhouse Museum is part of the experience economy that centers on both cultural and adventurous tourism in boosting the economic growth of the state in NSW, economically sustaining the communities in the region.

Analysis on Economic Demand

As a tourist destination, locally, regionally, and internationally, the Powerhouse Museum is also subjected to a number of factors that influence the demand for the stage experiences the said establishment produces. Accordingly, a number of features on the demand concept demonstrate its impact on such type of economy. As listed by Vanhove (2005, pp. 50-51), the concept of demand can be influenced by the following: economic factors, comparative prices, demographics¦government/regulatory, government/regulatory (and) media communications.¯ In application of such concepts in Sydneys experience industry, several elements make such economic sector successful in some ways. This city, as emphasized by the City of Sydney Coucil (2007), is an economically significant location in Australia, generating almost 8% of the total GDP in the country, with close to $65 billion of economic revenue of the metropolitans economic industries. In relation to this, the economic factors of the said location are widely in effect in different sectors of Sydney's economy. Economic factors may include the changes in income, time, and price.¯ As Sydney, where the Powerhouse Museum is located, is said to be discharging sufficient revenues, the income distributed to both private and public sectors, then, appeared to be financially allocated with the profits generated in various industries. In terms of availability of time spent for leisurely and educational pursuits, Australia is said to be lenient in its holiday policies, where most firms allot a month long holiday that are paid for, while official breaks in a year is exactly 13 days. On the last element involved in the economic factors for tourism pursuits include the price for such experience. This is the part of the demand concept where price elasticity occurs with the interaction of demands for tourist and the related price for such endeavors. In this effect, when prices paid for tourist experience is altered to a higher level, such move can also result to a lower demand by the same percentage of price hike (Vanhove, 2005). Among all the economic factors presented, price serves as the primary element that can have a forceful impact on the demand perspectives of tourist experience in museums, especially the subject in question.

As of the moment, the trend in demand for museums is quite positive in pattern. As observed in Figure 3 (please see Appendix C), there is an elevated trend of guests participating in the educational activities initiated by the said museum. This is a strong point that may probably exhibit the growing demand for such education pursuits offered in Powerhouse Museum. In association, the higher trend of extreme age participation in the museums programs may show the type of market that the demands may be concentrated on. In the occurrence of retirement events, higher populations from either the region or within the country may prone to look for novel experiences as they may have more time in their hands (Vanhove, 2005). As added by Darcy and Dickson (2009), the Bureau of Statistics in Australia revealed that the aging people are not the only increasing population in the country, statistical trends had also veered on populations aging 0-4 years and individuals with certain types of disabilities. Rooting on such patterns, the emerging demographic demands, then, can be directed on such trends. In association, the experience industry may be at an advantage in meeting the demands of these groups, the older and disabled population, while those at their preschool age and down may be included in the list as they are mostly brought by their parents who seek to enjoy their family weekends on the technological sights of the Powerhouse Museum. Present demographic changes, as well as the upside of economic factors shows the positive inclination of the demand concept when it comes to experience economy.

Analysis on Economic Supply

Museums are one way to fill the curiosities of individuals from different regions. In a study conducted by Scott (2003, p. 7), museums have constructive impacts on the social, personal, and economic¯ aspects on the community and the citizens. Valuably, such outcomes may mean that both private and public sectors have better opportunities when engaging in such ventures. Unfortunately, Powerhouse Museum is not the only establishment that seeks to provide distinctive social and technological experience to both local and international tourists. As enlisted in Sydney for All (Anon., n.d.), there are more than three museum attractions based in Sydney, Australia, and although others may have additional themes, the reality remains that there can be an oversupply of such experience industry within the area. With such economic incidence, report on Economics Basics may show that disequilibrium can take place, as excess supply of similar economic concepts in experience establishment may mean higher competitive prices, as well as inefficiency in the distribution of provided experience in target population (Anon., 2011). In result, potential guests in the area may find such experience establishments less appealing, thus, fewer visitors can be tallied in museums”rendering the elasticity of supply at a steeper edge in the supply and demand association.

To counteract such existing incidence, the strategic plan of Powerhouse Museum seemed to target the higher demographic demands based on age range and disability status of several domestic citizens within the regions fringes. Accessibility, then, is promoted by the said museum, as its physical structure had been predominantly modified to increase assistance with such individuals, with inclusions of paved pathways and carpeted passageways in enhancing mobility. For the more enthusiastic students and intellectual adults, workshops are offered, where the Thinkspace environment inside the museum provides diverse experience that are age appropriate and are technologically artistic in approach (Sydney for All, n.d.). The ultimate goal for this establishment is to meet the needs of communities in Australia through in-house provisions of Australians technological ingenuity, from the past to present concepts, and the development of scientifically-based innovations that are ecologically supported, in combination with the countrys social and culture heritage collections (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, 2010). Unlike other museums that may have concentrated on past artifacts and memorabilia, Powerhouse Museum infuses a modern vigor in its wake, showing the diverse goals the establishment adapts in order to be sustainable amidst competitions from other similar sectors.

Largely, such move shows the principal approach of the museum in topping its competitions, constantly updating its experiential strategies to retain its regular guests while attracting newcomers to visit the museum again. The adaption of such strategic plan appeared to give the museum a boost, both on the internal and external side, as the staffs are encouraged to be more creative in their work, and such efforts are manifested by the steady increase in visitors participating in their set of programs. With the presence of healthy competitions, the application of Market Structure (2011) exhibits a pattern where firms of similar industrial intentions are numerous, with experiences that are of related aims (tourism experience), most are affected by the supply and demand chains, and lastly, several of them are ruled by the public sector of the state government. In spite of the deferring number of firms fighting to get the attention of domestic and international tourists, the said museum recognizes the value of community participation and collaboration with other organizations in the area. Part of its strategic approach had been to partner with local community sectors, as well as industrial clusters in delivering the unique museum experience to a wider variety of available audiences (Strategic Plan, n.d.). Inclusions of the integrated partnerships outside the museum can comprise of educational centers and interested organizations that seek to find quality experiences for their members. Collaborations promote a sense of united camaraderie, and in the establishment of such associations, the said museum can enhance its popularity and diversity in reaching to a wider audience. It brings better experiences towards communities and other public sectors, and not merely waiting for guest opportunities to come on their way”showing its enterprising mode to recruit more guests in an active way.

Government Involvement on Powerhouse Museum

Powerhouse Museum, as discussed earlier, is an establishment acquired by the state government in the region of NSW. State government involvement in the museum had changed hands in 1945 from the regulatory governance of the Minister for Public Instruction, but as it had shifted towards the tourist economy, the director in the Committee of Management is now directly under the supervision of the Minister of Arts. To further explain the status of their responsibilities, the chief officer in the Minister of Arts represents the governments Parliament, where the appointed personnel is obligated to look after the operations on the said establishment. Consequently, Trustees are also selected to personally oversee to the day-to-day operations and activities in the museum, where they are involved in the resource and labor management, as well as how to keep the museum a sustainable public sector (Museum Governance and Management, n.d.). Basing from the chain of responsibility patterns followed by the Minister and Trustee officers, one can surmise that the officer-in-charge for the Ministry of Arts is more of a government body that ensures the elected Board of Trustees are performing their duties according to the set government ethics and in accordance to the interest of the public sectors first. This shows the passive entrepreneurial quality of the government of Australia, where its involvement with the intentionally constructed landscapes for better tourist engagement demonstrates the economic concerns of the State to promote the economic sustainability of its communities (Wirth & Freestone, n.d.). Needless to say, there is lesser involvement exhibited by the State government, as it showed a more regulatory and monitoring stance towards the operational mechanisms of Powerhouse Museum. As such, their support is quite minimal, especially on the funding aspect, since the said museum collects a small entrance fee and other charges for several activities rendered; all the while, striving to collect additional resources for the continuing operations of the establishment, not relying on the annual government grant provided for them (Public Guide, n.d.). In a way, the passive assistance and control executed by State government demonstrates its goal to empower the establishment to be generally independent on the management functions. Despite the museum being a publicly-owned venture, the officers elected on strategic positions in the museum becomes the representatives of the people, hence, the government must act as supporting body, and not as the controlling type”to avoid functional conflicts and give the former the liberty to act in accordance to what they deem as t actual needs of the local and international citizens in communities they are tasked to serve.

Conclusion

Based from the data sets presented in this paper, experience in the use of resources had long been placed with memorable values, yet, only with the conceptual framework introduced by Pines and Gilmore did such concept in economy widely recognized and used. With the existence of a variety of museums offering unique experiences in Sydney, the innovative approaches rendered by the Powerhouse Museum gives them the cutting edge in sustaining the interest of a variety of age brackets, while keeping their regular guests updated with technological advances, while rooted on the social context of such inventions. Admittedly, the said public sector establishment had been doing quite well despite the lenient reinforcements provided by the State government. Empowered to do as what they deem is morally right and professional appropriate, members of the Board of Trustees are quite crucial in the planning and organizing aspects, yet, they still need the efficiency of its paid and volunteer staffs to organize and keep things in moderate control during educational programs.

The continuation of its success may continue, but constant upgrading must be consistently executed, especially since one of its main attractions is the latest scientific laboratories and technological environment. Hence, they need the financial support that the government should judiciously provide, since it shares the corporate burden of running the museum, if only in the regulatory and reinforcement events. Another key that must taken in consideration is the elasticity of price demand. As mentioned earlier, Powerhouse collects certain entrance fees for the experience provided, but the existence of extra fees for activities rendered can be crippling for guests, especially with the current recession and reduced economic movements; such strategy should be lessened in order to decrease the burden of absent educational and entertainment stimulation that are the right of citizens as they are the public sector that museums aspired to have the social and cognitive needs enhanced. These suggestions may be brief, but it hits the issues regarding the novel stimulations in experience economy, where several of its features must be addressed first before this is considered successful in community and international settings, through the Powerhouse Museum sustenance and continuation.

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