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Building Sustainable Smart Destinations: An Approach Based on the Development of Spanish Smart Tourism Plans

Economy and Business Department, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Avda Tibidabo 39–43, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6874; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236874
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 22 November 2019 / Accepted: 25 November 2019 / Published: 3 December 2019
The aim of this research is to assess the real effects of developing smart tourism destinations on urban sustainability. A content analysis method is used to analyze 994 initiatives contained in action-plan and strategy documents from different smart tourism pilot projects funded by Spanish tourism administration. The results indicate that, despite the noteworthy effort to develop smart initiatives, sustainability solutions based on the use of technology are scarcely proposed, suggesting that cultural, managerial and technological barriers do exist. Overall, smart tourism plans are mainly conceived as instruments designed to create new tourism products in a tourism-driven approach. Despite the institutional narrative promoting smart tourism destinations as a guarantee to transform destinations responding to residents’ needs and improve sustainability, pilot projects undergo little interest in holistic sustainable initiatives, suggesting that destination management is focused on a rhetorical approach to sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban sustainability; smart destination; smart tourism plans; technology; Spain urban sustainability; smart destination; smart tourism plans; technology; Spain
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González-Reverté, F. Building Sustainable Smart Destinations: An Approach Based on the Development of Spanish Smart Tourism Plans. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6874.

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