Development of Chinatown in the Western Parts of Australia : 654848




1.0 Introduction

As per the problem statement, this literature review has discussed the relevant information about Chinatown which is a remarkable tourist spot in the western parts of Australia. The focus was given on the number of visitors in Chinatown and the reason of their visit. The late night trading is a common system in Chinatown where the retailers are open from 5pm- 8pm for the business. There are number of factors which are attracting the customers in the late- night trading of Chinatown. The different factors behind the visiting tourists are the chain of restaurants, retail shops selling attractive commodities and the street entertainment as a form of relaxation. Chinatown has a number of retail shops, restaurants serving delicious foods, pearl industry and street entertainment. The reason behind the visiting customers varies within these different set of attractions. There are a number of visiting tourists which have contributed to the financial viability of the businessmen. Whereas, the local authorities need to know the factors that pull the visitors so that they can work on its improvement.  The retail business in Chinatown is a popular concept and is on the verge of growing and developing. There are a number of participating businesses and this number will increase if the visitors turn into customers. The concept of late night trading is gaining momentum which is benefiting the businessmen as well as the local tourism.

1.1 Structural Framework

The following structural framework on the basis of the late night trading in Chinatown will have highlighted the main factors which attract tourists and visitors in the late night trading of Chinatown. Various factors have been identified by the authors and researchers which can be focused on to give shape to the structural framework. Generally new innovations are at risk of becoming successful but the modern concept of late-night trading in Chinatown is extremely popular among the local communities as well as the visitors who are also possible customers.


Source: As created by the author

1.2 Chinatown

It can be argued that the place has a rich history of pearl industry but earlier the workers of this particular industry were exploited. This place has an outstanding amalgamation of Colonial and Asian architecture which is a proof of Broome’s rich history. The main business and commercial centre of the city which used to be busy with pearl sheds, entertainment houses, billiard salons and Chinese eateries has become important shopping district. The city has a line of souvenir shops which sells the common commodities but there are still more than those to explore in Chinatown. This city brags of bearing the most refined pearl showrooms of the world and there are a lot in number. Even if the tourists are not planning to buy pearls but they will have an amazing time while roaming around the shops. There is a place called Pearl Luggers situated on Dampier Terrace where tourists can observe some dry docked and restored luggers and gather information about pearling history and also enjoy the old diving gear by tasting the pearl meat. Johnny Chi Lane is another place which carries the rich history of the place. It is a small mall and works as a connection between the Carnarvon Street and the Dampier Terrace. The place is well decorated with descriptions written on the wall about the earlier Broome. The stories have the ability to take the tourists on a journey of the landing of first ship in Broome along with the narration of the pearling industry and the Second World War to the present scenario of Broome (, 2017).

1.3 The late- night trading

It is mentioned that retail shops are owned and operated by a retailer sometimes and at other times by the manufacturer where the product is sold directly to the consumers. The concept of retail stores is a bit different in Chinatown where the operation takes place at the odd hours of 5pm to 8pm which is the main reason for pulling the customers. It has been reviewed that if the stores are opened for more hours then, that will attract more customers. The Chinese restaurants which provide delicious dishes are the major reasons for pulling visitors in this wonderful town. Street entertainment at other places of Australia includes club style entertainment, LED shows, shadow performance and many more. The Chinatown area experiences special street entertainment in the form of late- night trading as part of the trial supported by the Chinatown traders. There are several participating businesses which gain profit from this trade. The other forms of entertainment include music, balloon twisting and face painting. The attractions of tasty food along with music and entertainment present the visitors with an amazing experience and helping the traders with money- making.

Genakos and Danchev (2015) have described the late night trading system which is a popular concept in the Chinatown market. There are retail businesses which take part in this trading and this is one of the major factors behind the tourist gathering. The timing from 5pm to 8pm of the market attracts a lot of visitors as well as potential customers and it can be said that a longer opening hours would pull more tourists. This concept is economically viable for the businessmen too if the number of visitors are more. This trial system is unique and new to the visiting tourists and they have enjoyed shopping from the retailers thus providing financial benefit.

1.4 Theoretical and Methodological contributions

The theory on the particular problem statement as explained by Ip (2005) juxtaposes the specific areas of settlement and the activities related to settlement of the Chinese traders. In the context of the late night visitors in the city, not only a local and ethnic environment is built up but also challenges the Western image of Chinese in preferring life of urban enclave. The methodology of the given research problem showed that there are significant quantitative data which has focused on the visitors of Chinatown late night trading. Broome’s Chinatown has started flourishing since 1860s ad the trend is still continuing with the concept of late- night trading.

1.5 Chinatown Revitalization Project

The Minister for Regional Development had spoke about the Royalties for Regions investment of $10M in order to get hold of the detailed possibility studies for providing the transformational projects of supporting Chinatown as the business and the retail centre of Broome. The Shire of Broome has a contribution of $2M of its own along with other funding which makes it a total project of $12.6M ( 2017). This project was recognized as the pilot in boosting Chinatown by deriving the Shire’s development strategy along with an expanded community consultation. Most of the funds for the project will be used in the improvement of the public area of Chinatown.   The Chinatown Revitalization Projects include- Dampier Terrace Upgrade, Carnarvon Street Renovation, Dampier Frederick Street Precinct, Chinatown Investment and Development Coordinator, Roebuck Bay Reconnection and Coastal Protection, Gray Street Extension, Enhanced Laneways, Dampier Street and Frederick Street Connection and Cultural Centre Feasibility (Chinatown Revitalisation Project, 2017).

The goal of the CRP is to enhance the attraction of Chinatown by improving the streets, facilities, landscape and laneways within two years. The investors and the development coordinators, as per are interested in getting involved with the traders and business men of Chinatown, as well as the local community members for implementing the two- year plan. This was done with the intention of attracting more visitors and creating more business opportunities in the town.

Hughes (2014) has stated in his article that the industrialization of the remote and unspoiled tourism destination is still debatable. The regional center of Broome has a diverse culture with rugged landscapes which make up for an ideal coastal recreation area. The proposal to develop a large oil and gas processing complex has been rejected outright. The reason behind this is the impact that it will have on the culture, environment and the society.  The benefits from his development are absolutely negligible in front of the negative effect that will be imposed on this region.

1.6 Reasons to visit Chinatown

The Chinatown Revitalization Project is taking initiatives to improve the public realm of Chinatown (Chinatown Revitalization Project, 2017). The improvement that has been done is accountable for pulling tourists in this unique place. The Broome beaches are the major attractions of which Cable Beach is the most famous. Most of the major places in Broome are clustered in one place. It is not much a big place. The tourists can cover the sight-seeing on a single day as they do not need to scatter here and there. For the tourists, the itinerary can start with the Broome Visitor Centre which is situated in Hamersley Street. This particular place guides the tourists by providing street maps and other materials of information so that they are able to take a tour by themselves. Loy-Wilson (2014) has mentioned about the urban modernity in Australia in his article which is very much associated with the white Australians and the British and the American cultures. It is argued that the business development in Australian rural towns was interlinked with the Chinese retailers. When the previous records were reviewed it was found out that the Australia’s shop- life brings about the Chinese traders, merchants, shopkeepers and the workers.  The shop- life that was created and stored throws light on the commercial transactions between the businessmen and the customers which led to cultural exchanges by enhancing cross- cultural knowledge.

1.7 Recommendation

As late night trading is a new concept in for the participating businesses in Broome therefore no previous data are available from where comparison can be drawn on its effectiveness. Moreover, there is no literature or journals available on the specific topic or similar researches have been done which could be helpful for this particular study. For recognizing the correct hypothesis out of the two, it was recommended by Price (2005) that quantitative research can be a suitable strategy. Kumar and Phrommathed (2005) have suggested measuring employment and calculating the research problem by gathering data through surveys or personal interviews and observations has helped in revealing the facts in the course of this particular research.

1.8 Conclusion

It can be concluded from this literature review that certain groups of researchers have considered the late- night trading trial as a development in the business scenario and an initiation for change in behavior with the goal of highlighting the role of local people, businessmen and tourists in Chinatown. While doing the review it was found out that the rate of tourism has decreased in the past years in Broome due to the global economic crisis so there was a necessity to enhance tourism, hospitality and the retail industry for their survival. Thus, the late night trial shopping can be considered as a great opportunity for creating a daily evening ambience in Chinatown by gathering tourist and the local people in the main retail hub of Broome.  Also the timing of the trading can be increased because longer opening hours will experience more gatherings which will lead to more profit of the businessmen. The street entertainments can be improved by initiating live dj-ing, musical interaction with the visitors or hand panting on the walls which will make the place more appealing. To make the event lively and assorted, all the retail business in Chinatown needs to participate in this gathering. It has become a core destination for the choice of industry and finance for the families to sustain and for the tourists to enjoy.




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Broome, the gateway to the Kimberley, is an iconic tourism destination in north-west WA.
According to the Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry, BCCI (2016), it is one of
Australia’s most eclectic resort towns. Broome has a long history manifested in the pearling
industry and is renowned world-wide for its Australian Cultured South Sea Pearls, cultured
in the serene waters surrounding Broome. Broome’s current population of approximately
17,000 is forecast to double in the next 15 years.
Although Broome’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism, there is a lot more to the
town than just tourism. It is, as the BCCI (2016) mentioned, an exciting and vibrant
commercial centre with an active and ever strengthening business environment. Broome’s
cultural heritage is celebrated in Chinatown, which is home to pearl galleries, along with a
variety of retail outlets and sidewalk cafes.
Trading hours in Chinatown are very seasonal. The average retail trading hours for a small to
medium sized business in the peak-season, April till September are from 9am to 5pm and in
the low/wet-season, October till March, from 10am to 4pm. Over the last ten years, the
issue of extended trading hours has been addressed in various meetings between
Chinatown business owners and the BCC, but unfortunately no outcome or consensus has
been reached.
In late 2016, a $12.6 million project, called the Chinatown Revitalisation Project (CRP), was
drafted and funded through the state’s ‘Royalties for Regions’ program, the Shire of Broome
and Tourism WA. CPR’s goal is to increase attractiveness and activity in Chinatown, through
major improvements to streets, the landscape, facilities and laneways over the next two
As part of the CRP, its Investment and Development Coordinator has been engaging with
Chinatown traders, the BCC and local community members, to develop a two-year activity
plan. With the aim of making Chinatown more attractive to visitors and local community
members, as well as to gain ideas on stimulating the economic performance of Chinatown,
unlocking investment, and articulating key barriers and opportunities, Chinatown business
owners have come together to workshop and discuss their visions for reinvigorating the
town’s CBD. One of the major issues discovered in those consultations was that Chinatown
is in the need of extended trading hours if it wants to make Chinatown more attractive to
An agreement was therefore made to carry out a once a month late-night shopping
trial from 5pm till 8pm.
CRP offered to coordinate the late-night trading series for an initial trial of six months. The
possibility of extending to more opening nights will depend on the acceptance and success
of the stakeholders involved in those six trials. CRP is also providing the ‘atmosphere, colour
and movement elements’, such as; lighting, signage and security, as well as evening
activities, such as face painting for kids and street buskers to help create a safe and vibrant
streetscape. Participating business are Chinatown retail businesses, cafes, restaurants and
food vans.
Two trial nights were already performed in the last two months. However, the essentially
great idea suffered from two major flaws. Firstly, no research was conducted so far, neither
prior to the start of the trial nights nor during the two trial nights, in order to examine visitor
attendance and to test the feedback of participating businesses. Secondly, no procedures
and systems to do research or collect data were developed and provided to participants. To
address the need to do research in order to draw on the feedback from participating
businesses, visitors and/or customers, a meeting with CRP’s Development Coordinator was
arranged by the author to discuss the research issue. It has been agreed that research will
be conducted in collaboration between the author and CRP.
Research Problem Definition
This research needs to address two main issues; one being the data collection and analysis
of how many visitors come to Chinatown during the trial-nights and what attracts them to
come. The other is collection of information and analysis from the participating businesses
in order to find out if it is economically lucrative for them to participate. Additionally, the
research is focused to determine how many visitors are coming to Chinatown. It also seeks
to focus on which of the four different attractions/venues offered, as shown in figure 1, is
the main reason for drawing visitors to Chinatown during the late-night trials.
Figure 1: Main Venues of Visitor Attraction to Chinatown, Broome
Are the late-night trial visitors coming to Chinatown attracted by the street entertainment,
food vans, restaurants or retail shops or a combination of the above? Are the visitors seeing
the trial as a community or family event?
Given that Restaurants don’t have to apply extra resources at the trial-nights, as their
opening hours are consistent with the trial-hours, food vans don’t have to pay any stall-fees
and street entertainment is sponsored by the Chinatown Revitalisation Project. The research
will focus on the economical profitability of participating retail businesses.
Retail shops
Food Vans
Research Purpose
The purpose of the research is to identify if longer opening hours will attract more visitors to
Chinatown and the reasons for the visitors to come to Chinatown. Another aim of the
research is to determine if it is lucrative for participating businesses to take part in the late-
night trials in Chinatown.
The first part of the research will be conducted, based on the following objectives:
To identify how many visitors are attending late-night trading in Chinatown.
To find out the reason why they are visiting; is it for food, entertainment purposes or
to purchase?
To find out which is/are the main attraction(s) for visitors to attend late-night trading
in Chinatown.
In order to determine whether it is economically lucrative for participating retail businesses
to open for late-night trading in Chinatown, the following are the objectives:
To find out how many late-night trial visitors are visiting retail shops.
To find out if the visitors to the retail shops are customers or potential customers.
Research Questions
This research will be conducted in order to answer the following primary research question:
Does late-night trading in Broome between the hours of 5pm-8pm result in an
increased number of visitors and customers to Chinatown and the participating
The secondary/sub-questions relating to the research problem and to be investigated in this
research are:
How many visitors are attending the late-night trials in Chinatown?
What draws visitors and customers to go to Chinatown and/or to visit the
participating businesses at late night trading days?
Is it lucrative for the participating businesses to open for trade between the hours of
5pm and 8pm?
The above research questions are capable of development into a research design, so data
may be collected in relation to them, as mentioned by Bryman et al (2015, p.93).
Research Hypothesis
On the basis what is known about the research problem and the theoretical considerations
within it, as described by Bryman et al (2015, p.23), the following are the deduced
Hypothesis 1: opening between the hours of 5 pm to 8pm attracts more visitors to
Hypothesis 2: opening between the hours of 5 pm to 8pm is lucrative for participating
Late-night trading is new to Broome and the participating businesses; therefore, no historic
data is available to draw on comparison of its effectiveness. Unfortunately, there is also no
literature or specific written material, like numeric data or similar researches, about the
research topic to be found.
In order to determine and test which of the hypotheses is right, the recommended research
strategy is quantitative research. Employing measurement, Bryman et al (2015, p.37) and
quantifying the research problem by generating data through surveys, face-to-face
interviews and observations will be helpful for uncovering the facts throughout this
The collaborative research group sees the late-night trading trial as a business development
and behaviour change initiative, with an aim to refocus how the local community, tourists
and traders use Chinatown. As Broome’s tourism figures have declined since the Global
Financial Crisis, it needs a boost in order for the tourism, hospitality and retail industry to
survive. Therefore, the late-night shopping trial is a great opportunity to create a regular
evening event in Chinatown, bringing tourists and locals back into Broome’s retail heart.
But, in order to make it a vibrant and diverse event it needs all the Chinatown retail
businesses to participate. Undertaking this research will help in clarifying the unknowns for
these participants.
Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2016, BCCI,
‘BROOME – a great place to live and work,
‘Gateway to the North-West and Browse Basin
’, viewed 17 October 2017
Bryman, A. & Bell, E. 2015,
Business Research Methods
, 4
Edition, Oxford, UK.


Bryman, A. & Bell, E. 2015, Business Research Methods, 4th Edition, Oxford, UK.


Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia (CCI), 2007, ‘Retail Trading Hours in Western Australia: A Case for Reform’, viewed 08 November 2017,—Attachment-2—Retail-Trading-Hours—A-Case-for-Reform.pdf.

Genakos, C. & Danchev, S. 2015, ‘Evaluating the impact of Sunday trading deregulation’, Centre for Economic Performance, London, Discussion Paper, No. 1336.

Gruenhagen, M., Grove, S.J. & Gentry, J.W. 2003, ‘The dynamics of store hour changes and consumption behaviour: Results of a longitudinal study of consumer attitudes toward Saturday shopping in Germany’, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 37, No. 11/12, pp. 1801-181.

Lyons, M. 2005, ‘An Appealing Outcome? Industrial Arbitration and Extended Retail Trading Hours in New South Wales in the 1980s’, International Journal of Employment Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 107-130.

Mortimer, D. & Ingersoll, L. 2015, ‘The Impact of Deregulation on Employment Relations in the Australian Retail Industry, Employment Relations Record, Vol 15, No. 2.

Price, R. 2005, ‘Extended Trading Hours – More Retail Jobs?’, International Journal of Employment Studies, Vol. 13, No.1, pp. 133-156.

Queensland Trading Hours Review, 2016, ‘Issues Paper’.