Special Issue "Cultural Routes for Sustainable and Regenerative Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Tourism, Culture, and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ángeles Rubio-Gil
Guest Editor
Department of Business Administration, URJC University of Madrid, (28032), Spain.
Interests: cultural routes; regenerative tourism; sustainable development; youth
Prof. Dr. Jesús Alberto Valero-Matas
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Sociology, University of Valladolid, Palencia (34004), Spain
Interests: regenerative development; immigration; sociology of science; youth
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Guillermo Vázquez-Vicente
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Applied Economics and History and Economic Institutions, at URJC University, Madrid 28032, Spain.
Interests: sustainable development; economic development; youth

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

Cultural routes have very satisfactory properties. They help in the conservation and appreciation of places and their nostalgia, memory, and tradition (Murray and Graham, 1997). Moreover, they improve the attractiveness and sustainability of such places (Meyer, 2004) and bring multiple actors to work together (Buhalis, 2000; Shih, 2006). Cultural routes attract a tourist model that seeks the history and identity of the region, as well as interaction with the local population.

The new cultural routes are considered a value of sustainable development. This topic will be expanded upon in this work, considering them as economic clusters in which the members can share and conserve their attractions and as contributors to tackling depopulation and the effects of climate change in the most disadvantaged areas. These cultural routes have the potential for self-tourism and proximity trips, which have a lower environmental impact and offer greater security in the face of health crises.

On the other hand, the routes around the monumental and intangible heritage are considered. These cultural routes provide tools for the implementation of other forms of regenerative tourism, such as ecotourism, organic farming, or apitourism (i.e., routes of community tourism that reinvest the income in economically depressed populations), or ecological tourist services, such as ecovillages and circular economy hotels. In a logic of closed non-disruptive tourism consumption (Pearce and Turner, 1980; EU Commission, 2018; Ellen MacAthur, 2010), environmental and economic aspects are complemented.

Cultural routes such as the Camino de Santiago, the Silk Road, and the pilgrimage to Mecca have been pioneers in the generation of commerce, the travel industry, and intercontinental finances. The principles postulated by Daniel Wahl, in Designing Regenerative Cultures (2016), are now the spur of the necessary social change, within the framework of regenerative development, and will be applied to the tourism sector in this work. This is a new paradigm that seeks to reverse the degeneration of natural systems and design human systems that can co-evolve with them, without forgetting that the planet continues to relate its potential for diversity, complexity, and creativity. Moreover, it enables the relationships between towns and settlements to be strengthened.

The work will develop a new project through the study of traditional routes (pilgrimage, archaeological, or artistic routes) and new ones, such as genealogical tourism in Europe, ethnic tourism in the Americas, or community tourism in Africa. Cultural routes linked to ecological, gastronomic (e.g., kosher and halal routes), or other characteristics will also be considered.

This Special Issue seeks contributions from specialists in development economics, tourism, agronomy, anthropology, sociology, architecture, and art history in analyzing these routes and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches.

Prof. Dr. Ángeles Rubio-Gil
Prof. Dr. Jesús Alberto Valero-Matas
Prof. Dr. Guillermo Vázquez-Vicente
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • cultural routes
  • cultural tourism
  • regenerative tourism
  • sustainable development
  • intangible heritage
  • tourism cluster
  • tourism and development

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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