Path creation or path dependence? Unleashing entrepreneurial responses to tourism development

Mr Yoshi Abe1, Dr Tod Jones2

1William Angliss Institute, Melbourne, Australia,

2Curtin University, Perth, Australia


This research applies the theoretical framework of evolutionary economic geography (EEG) to look at how tourism attractions evolve in remote regions where cultural traditions have long been long central to tourism visitations. We demonstrate the usefulness of EEG as a theoretical framework and focus on the role of entrepreneurs and local governments in path shaping processes by applying the concepts of path dependency and path creation.

This research is based on field work conducted in 2018 and 2019 in the Toraja region, South Sulawesi in Indonesia. Applying a real-time approach to monitor path shaping processes, the research reveals the details and complexity of responses by the local tourism industry to endogenous and exogenous influences. The research reveals the importance of flexible development strategies and supportive local government policies in the development of new types of local tourism attractions.


Yoshi Abe is a tourism lecturer at William Angliss Institute. Currently undertaking PhD studies at Curtin University, he is researching the application of evolutionary economic geography on tourism development. He has a Master of Arts in anthropology from the University of Melbourne and Master of Tourism from Monash University.



The Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) is the principal body representing geographers and promoting the study and application of geography in Australia. It was founded in 1958 and since then has promoted, supported and defended Australian geography.

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