Located in the southeastern part of the Australian state of Victoria, the city of Mornington has a long history of agricultural activity. For many years, the fertile land surrounding the city has been used to grow a wide variety of crops, including strawberries, cherries, apples, and grapes. However, in recent years, the focus of Mornington’s economy has shifted away from agriculture and towards tourism. This transformation has had a significant impact on the city and its inhabitants, both in terms of economic development and cultural identity.

From Farming to Tourism

Historical Background

The agriculture industry has been a crucial part of Mornington’s economy for over a century. In the early 1900s, many farmers in the region began planting orchards and vineyards, taking advantage of the favorable climate and fertile soil. By the 1930s, the city had become a major producer of apples, cherries, and other fruit crops, with many small family-owned farms dotting the landscape.

However, as the 20th century progressed, the industry faced several challenges. In the 1960s, urbanization began to encroach on the farmland surrounding the city, leading to the conversion of many farms into residential subdivisions. At the same time, globalization and the rise of large-scale commercial farming operations made it difficult for small farmers to compete. By the 1990s, many of the region’s orchards and vineyards had been replaced by housing developments, and the once-thriving agriculture industry was in decline.

The Rise of Tourism

As the agriculture industry declined, Mornington began to look for new sources of economic development. One area that showed promise was tourism. The city is situated on the coast of Port Phillip Bay, and its scenic beauty and temperate climate make it an attractive destination for visitors from around the world.

In the early 2000s, the city began to invest heavily in tourism infrastructure, building new hotels, restaurants, and other amenities to attract visitors. It also began promoting the region’s natural attractions, including its beaches, wineries, and wildlife reserves.

Today, tourism is a major driver of Mornington’s economy. According to the Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism Board, the industry generates over $2 billion in economic activity each year, and supports more than 14,000 jobs. Visitors come to the region to enjoy its natural beauty, sample its world-class wines, and experience its vibrant culture.

Impact on the City and its Inhabitants

The transformation of Mornington’s economy from agriculture to tourism has had both positive and negative effects on the city and its inhabitants. On the positive side, the growth of the tourism industry has created many new jobs and opportunities for local businesses. It has also brought new visitors and residents to the region, helping to diversify the local population and culture.

However, the shift away from agriculture has also had some negative consequences. For one, it has led to the loss of many small family-owned farms, which were a crucial part of the region’s cultural heritage. It has also contributed to the homogenization of the local economy, with many businesses now catering primarily to tourists rather than local residents.

Another challenge has been managing the environmental impact of tourism. The region’s natural beauty is a major attraction for visitors, but it also makes it vulnerable to damage from overuse and development. To address this challenge, Mornington has implemented a range of measures to protect its natural resources, including conservation areas, beach management plans, and sustainable tourism initiatives.


The transformation of Mornington’s economy from agriculture to tourism has been a complex and multifaceted process, with both positive and negative outcomes. While the shift away from agriculture has created many new opportunities for economic development and cultural exchange, it has also