The Australian tourism is one of the leading government sectors that have contributed a tremendous boost the economy of the country. The country has significant attraction sites in major cities including Melbourne, Sydney among others with the tourism activities attracting a wide variety of visitors both domestically and globally. Some of the tourists who visit Australia are backpackers mostly comprising young people from Western Europe, United States and Asia who wish to explore several attraction sites within the country, events tourist and vacationers both from local and international market. The country has significant attraction sites including arts and galleries, beaches and marine parks such as the Great Barrier Reef marine park and exhibition centers that attract millions of visitors from the global market every year.
This paper therefore is a tourist analysis on Federation Square, an Australian tourists’ destination found in Melbourne, Victoria. The analysis focuses on the available facilities found in this famous attraction site including the design features, availability of information for the potential and actual visitors, visitors’ signage, rules and regulations governing the destination and the management system responsible for the maintenance and development of the site
Federation Square is a civic center which is also a public cultural precinct in Melbourne, Australia and was officially open in the year 2002 and ranks among the world’s largest public spaces. The site is built on a concrete deck constructed above several busy railway lines between St Kilda and Flinders streets in the Melbourne’s Central Business District. Other than its outlined construction, the square is distinct from the neighboring squares as it is located between St Paul’s court and the Square which is also public places and The Atrium which is a covered square. It covers a total area of 3.2 hectares and it receives a total of over eighty million visitors particularly being a public destination sites in the country. The distinct architecture and design of the site and its strategic location attracts millions of visitors who enjoy shopping and exhibitions, cultural festivals among other festivities and unique activities such as free Tai chi classes offered on Tuesdays to any interested person. This public square is managed by Fed Square Pty Ltd.
The main facility offered at Federation Square is the visitor information Centre on the underground of the site. This facility is relevant to all the visitors in Melbourne as they are able to access adequate information on the important activities that take place not only within the square but also in other attraction sites in Melbourne and at the same time give updates on the events of the day and the shopping malls found within the site. The information Centre is easily accessible as it is located directly opposite Flinders station with a recognizable LEDs and screens which can be seen from across the street.
Cultural facilities that act as major attraction sites within the square include the Ian Porter Gallery which is a display of several art collections from the National Gallery of Victoria. Visitors enjoy an artistic view of several Australian artworks which includes fashion, paintings, sculptures and photography recorded to be the oldest in the country (Brennan, 2010). Australian Centre for the moving image (ACMI) is also another cultural facility that attracts thousands of visitors within Federation Square. This offers high acoustic cinemas set to play in digital and video imagery as well as several computer experimentation sites and a display of video experimentation gallery which attracts most of the visitors within the site.
The site also provide public necessities including public lavatories, several telephone booths and eating facilities which includes magnificent restaurants, bars and public lounges within the square.
Historical galleries, cultural displays and events are interpreted all over the sites for easy understanding on their history. The interpretation is available in several languages with English being the mostly used language. Interpretations can also be found in detail at the information Centre and the fed square website which has clearly elaborated information concerning various events, galleries, meals and other attraction sites within the site
Apart from the cultural events held within the site and attraction sites that are available for the tourists, visitors also enjoy guided tours within the square whereby they can be assisted on understanding the various amenities within the site by experienced personnel on a minimum pay. Other available tours include bicycle hires, window shopping and exhibition sightseeing, a cruise experience at the near Yarra rivers and free information gathering at the Information center (Brown-May, 2003). One of the most famous event that attracts high number of visitors at the federation square is the beer tasting and award shows that involves Australian breweries tasting and requires payment of entry fee for any visitor who intend to attend the tasting event.
The Federation Square has received a variety of signage from visitors who gives their comments on the experiences gained after visiting the sites mostly in the famous Trip advisor website among other tourist information websites. Those visiting the square are also encouraged to write their comments and suggestions at the information center as it is essential in future improvement of the site.
Visiting Federation Square is a one-time experience for any person who intends to learn more on the cultural values of Australia at no charge and the site will definitely open up experiences and optimism to visit other sites across the state without a second thought. According to Byrnes (2011), despite being from being the most visited public attraction site, Federation Square is however ranked among the ugliest looking attraction sites in the world as a result of its complicated architectural layout but however, this distinct layout gives the site even more attention for the curious visitors in the city of Melbourne.
Brown-May, A and Day, N. (2003). Federation Square, South Yarra, Victoria: Hardie Grant Books
Byrnes, M. (2011). The Best and Worst of the World's Central Plazas and Squares.
Federation Square attraction site available from www.visitmelbourne.com/Regions/Melbourne/Destinations/City-fringe/federation-square
About Federation square. available from www.fedsquare.com
Brennan, K. (2010). Federation Square – a place for the people. Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 3 Issue no: 2, pp.130 – 135. available from www.emeraldinsight.com