The final assessment task for THT2114 comprises of two parts:

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The final assessment task for THT2114 comprises of two parts:
1. Individual Case Scenario (3A) and
2. Case Study Reflection (3B). Two separate case studies will be provided.
1. Assessment Task 3B – Case Study Reflection (20 marks)
The Case Study ‘Sorry Rocks and the Tourism of Regret’ has been posted on the LMS. Student’s response to this case will emphasise the following core themes:
• Sustainability, Responsible Consumption and Managing Tourist Behaviour
• Development and Management of Sustainable Destinations
Students will reflect on real-life operational responses to challenges encountered by destination managers. Aligned with each student’s personal experience and/or knowledge, these reflections will form the verifiable assessment for task 3B. The assessment comprises of two (2) questions each worth 10 marks (total 20 marks).
1. Destination Insights- Overview:
The Sorry Rocks and the Tourism of Regret (Foxlee, 2014, 2008) case provide an opportunity to explore the behaviour of tourists and the challenges that destination managers may encounter. The current challenges suggest we need to reconsider our role as consumers and our understanding of how future managers can effectively ensure the sustainable future of a destination and its host community.
The Sorry Rocks and the Tourism of Regret reminds us to look at the landscape through other points of view, and to think about the way we interact (as tourists) and care (as managers) for the natural world. We may need to ask: how we can make these connections respectfully?’
2. Reflection and Focus of Transformation:
During the delivery of THT2114 in Semester 1, 2017, there have been a number of opportunities for you to detail and analyse your own reflections and personal insights into sustainability and destination management. This included insights of quiz (personal reflection in task 1B) and scenarios about your own experience, culture or home country (personal insights on destination management in task 1C).
The Sorry Rocks and the Tourism of Regret case focus is on the transformation of tourist engagement within the cultural landscape. This case study is an example of an increased trend in tourist’s transition from playing the role of a detached visitor to an active, thoughtful participant. Reflecting on personal actions allow tourists to become more aware of their impact on the environment and sustainability of the destination.
What is a reflection? A reflection is a personal experience that incorporates new insights that can lead to new ways of thinking and acting. Reflective essays (or video, e-poster or presentation) can focus on personal development, academic connections of an experience to the subject content, or ideas and recommendations for future action. Experience becomes educative when critical reflective thought creates new meaning and leads to growth and the ability to take informed actions (Bringle and Hatcher, 1999)
3. Task – Assessment 3B: Using the key themes discussed in this subject, provide a selfreflection on the following two questions:
3.1. Describe ways that your ideas and attitudes may have changed in regard to responsible tourism and respectful connections as expressed in Sorry Rocks and the Tourism of Regret. You may wish to express your ideas and attitudes by reflecting on the following:
• Whether you would have considered taking a souvenir of your visit – if so, would have considered returning a piece of “rock” – why or why not?
• How do you think that your cultural background, educational and life experiences would impact your decision?
3.2. Based on your experience and the core themes presented in Sustainable
Destinations and Operations (THT2114) and using other relevant examples (including case scenarios presented in class) provide a short summary of the way that your overall attitude to sustainability and destinations management have developed and/or changed.
4. Personal Reflection Delivery Options – Task 3B: The key criteria of your personal reflection and how it is delivered is that it must be verifiable (that is, that you have produced the work). Options include:
• Write approximately 500-600 words per question. You may refer to the website that relates to the case study provided. All references must be formatted using APA Style.
• Document using video or an audio submission of your personal insights
• E-Poster or power-point presentation
5. Criteria used to grade this task
1. The key criteria of your personal reflection and how it is delivered is that it must be verifiable (that is, that you have produced the work).
2. Demonstrates ability to make meaning of personal experience (personal development)
3. Reflections demonstrate new ways of thinking and rationale for belief including academic connections of an experience to the subject content, or ideas and recommendations for future action (reflective thought and ability for informed action)
References:
Bringle and Hatcher, (1999). Reflection in Service Learning: Making Meaning of Experience educational HORIZONS, Summer 1999.
Foxlee, J (2014). Sorry Rocks issue #41 of Dumbo Feather Accessed on March 5th 2017 from http://www.dumbofeather.com/categories/australia/
Foxlee, J. (2008). Stories in the landscape: the sorry rock phenomenon and the cultural landscape of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Thesis (Ph.D)–University of Western Sydney, School of Social Sciences, 2008.
TASK 3B – Case: Sorry Rocks and the Tourism of Regret
Article was taken from the PhD thesis by Foxlee, J. (2008). Stories in the landscape: the sorry rock phenomenon and the cultural landscape of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Abstract
Each day the joint managers of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, in Central Australia, receive packages of returned rocks and sand that have been removed from the landscape by visitors as a souvenir of the place. The returned objects are sent from people all over the world and a long way beyond the Park boundaries. Known within the Park as the ‘sorry rocks’, these returned objects and their accompanying letters of apology reflect the different ways in which people engage with the landscape and interpret their surrounds. In this research, the sorry rocks have been used as a medium for examining the complex relationships that exist between visitors, heritage management and interpretation particularly in cross-cultural settings that recognise Indigenous cultural heritage.
Sorry Rocks
On an almost daily basis, rangers at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Central Australia receive parcels of sand and rocks from guilty tourists. Taken as mementos of Uluru and the nearby group of domed rock formations known as Kata Tjuta, these “pieces of place” find their way back to the site from all corners of the globe, often with personal letters of apology.
“To Uluru-Kata Tjuta—from France
Kata Tjuta, I didn’t even know you existed but you absolutely blew my mind. I sat at a lookout for almost an hour and watched a little bird sail on your thermals. It was a beautiful moment and I took a nearby stone so I could hold a piece of you forever. Uluru, I took one from you too. I wanted to take away some of your magic with me for the rest of my travels, for the rest of my life even. I realise it was wrong to do so, therefore I am sending both pieces back to you. Forgive me for being foolish and thank you for letting me spend time with you and absorb your beauty.”
The frequent expression of regret in these letters has led park staff to name the returned pieces ‘sorry rocks’. Some send them back shortly after their trip, others do it years, even decades later. The letters reflect a human impulse to engage with the land on a deeper level— something we don’t do a lot in our busy, modern lives. People want to hold onto that connection. They take these objects with them because the experience of nature and culture felt so unique. Usually with some reflection they realise they shouldn’t have and develop this intense desire to send them back. Some even believe they experience bad luck as a result of removing the rocks.
When I started researching the Sorry Rocks in 2004, there was a storeroom full of boxes with over a thousand returned materials and letters. The first parcel arrived in the 1970s and the phenomenon grew exponentially the following decade when ownership of Uluru was handed back to the local Anangu people. The number of materials returned each year is now between 250 and 300. The largest was a 32kg rock from a couple in Adelaide.
While Anangu and park staff welcome the gesture of sending back pieces of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, it has become a complex managerial issue. For Anangu, seeing the rocks returned to country was not as simple as placing them at the base of Uluru. Some were from Kata Tjuta for a start, which has particular significance to Anangu men, and there was a concern that some rocks had been removed from sacred sites. Returning them to the wrong place would be disrespectful.
In the end it was decided that the rocks be placed in a neutral space, a creek bed not far from the Uluru Cultural Centre. Here, they are back in country but not in danger of upsetting Tjukurpa, traditional Anangu law. It’s also a place where the rocks and sediments could be washed by the rains and integrated back into the landscape.
Anangu and park management are working hard to promote the “please don’t take” message. Under Australian law, visitors can be fined up to $5000 for removing material from the national park, and while thousands of rocks have been returned, no fine has been issued. For the Anangu people, the issue is about respect for the land. They see no curse associated with the act but do believe the elements have an important place in the landscape and shouldn’t be disturbed.
For many of us, picking up a shell from the beach or a special stone near the lake feels natural. It’s a ritual that extends from our childhood. The souvenir brings an experience of place into our private lives and becomes a trigger for memory and storytelling. The question we need to ask is how we can make these connections to place respectfully. The Sorry Rocks remind us to look at the landscape through other points of view, and to think about the way we interact with the natural world as tourists.
Jasmine Foxlee works in protected area management and community engagement in Canberra. This story originally ran in issue #41 of Dumbo Feather – Fourth Quarter, 2014:14
Reference:
Foxlee, J (2014). Sorry Rocks issue #41 of Dumbo Feather Accessed on March 5th 2017 from http://www.dumbofeather.com/categories/australia/
Foxlee, J. (2008). Stories in the landscape: the sorry rock phenomenon and the cultural landscape of UluruKata Tjuta National Park. Thesis (Ph.D)–University of Western Sydney, School of Social Sciences, 2008.



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