Special Issue "New Sustainability Narratives, Measures and Alternatives in Tourism Destinations"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Lluís Garay Tamajón
Website
Guest Editor
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Avinguda Tibidabo, 39, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: Social Movements, Tourism and Public Space; CSR and Sustainability in Destinations; Destinations’ Image
Prof. Dr. Julie Wilson
Website
Guest Editor
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Avinguda Tibidabo, 39, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: Socio­spatial Evolution of Tourism Landscapes; Evolutionary Economic Geography; Collaborative Economy
Prof. Dr. Soledad Morales
Website
Guest Editor
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Avinguda Tibidabo, 39, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: Collaborative Economy; Festivals and Event's Image and Impacts; Social Movements, Tourism and Public Space

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The interpretation and analysis of sustainability in tourism destinations is undoubtedly one of most visible themes within the principal academic journals and international academic events in the tourism field. However, sustainability narratives and practices are changing so fast that new conceptual and methodological frameworks are needed to capture their diverse dimensions and implications.

Firstly, due to the transformations deriving from the impact of information and communication technologies and, in particular, the emergence of the collaborative economy, there are new narratives and counternarratives on sustainability in the context of tourism destinations. In this respect, the positioning of collectives and stakeholders that until now has not been considered in this context is increasingly important, particularly in the case of social and neighbourhood movements defending residents’ interests. In addition, the positioning of the traditional tourism industry towards sustainability had diverged progressively from that projected by collaborative economy platforms. Moreover, this issue is being driven by the increasing use of social networks that have become the main spaces for debate (and conflict) surrounding the concept of tourism sustainability. There is also a growing academic interest in the performativity of tourism in public space and its recuperation by neighbourhood movements, as well as the problems and possible solutions in terms of the relative accessibility of such spaces.

Secondly, the emergence of these new narratives necessitates new approaches and innovative analyses of the impact of tourism activity on destinations. As such, it is important to move beyond traditional approaches to destination carrying capacity and opt for new research that analyses key aspects such as the impact of tourism supply growth on the rental and purchase housing markets, residential and commercial gentrification and ‘touristification’ processes and the potential destruction of the social fabric of local communities. Other problems that require attention include the displacement of commercial activities and the often-precarious nature of labour conditions in the tourism industry.

Thirdly, from all of these challenges arise new public sector and other responses that are linked directly and indirectly to sustainability. In this sense, analysis of new forms of governance that articulate tourism (and related sectorial) policy in destinations is becoming increasingly important, especially in relation to monitoring the impact of urban plans that are implemented on a local scale and where the genuine participation of social movements becomes increasingly relevant. Additionally, the notion of social sustainability implies that new regulatory instruments are needed in different policy areas that are directly related to tourism (housing, urban and regional planning, and employment, among others). Finally, there is a clear need to understand how destination sustainability is affected by the development of new activities that coexist and intersect with tourism. This is particularly the case in the context of the collaborative economy, in response to emerging proposals for alternative models of tourism supply, such as de-commodified housing or restaurant projects, cooperative platforms or new alternatives stemming from the social and solidarity economy.

For this Special Issue, we invite paper contributions related to any of the topics outlined above that relate clearly to new narratives, measures and alternatives in sustainability in tourism, either from a quantitative, qualitative or mixed/multi-method perspectives. Innovative, critical and ground-breaking contributions would be especially welcomed, as would novel proposals that have a clear impact on tourism destination realities that involve a real and positive social, economic or environmental transformation.

Prof. Dr. Lluís Garay Tamajón
Prof. Dr. Julie Wilson
Prof. Dr. Soledad Morales
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 1800 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.

Keywords

  • Emerging narratives and counter-narratives of sustainability
  • Narratives and social networks
  • Collaborative economy
  • Social movements
  • Governance
  • Public policies and regulatory frameworks
  • Labour market and conditions
  • Performativity and use of public space
  • New approaches to the management of sustainability
  • Residential and commercial gentrification
  • Power (in)balances and (in)equalities: distribution and inter-relationships
  • New values and tendencies in sustainable tourism consumption

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Smart Tourism Sustainability Narratives in Mature Beach Destinations. Contrasting the Collective Imaginary with Reality
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5083; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125083 - 22 Jun 2020
Abstract
This article contributes to the analysis of the relationship between urban renewal processes and sustainable development in mature beach destinations and the adoption of smart tourism. It takes as its case study Spanish destinations taking part in publicly-funded projects and plans designed to [...] Read more.
This article contributes to the analysis of the relationship between urban renewal processes and sustainable development in mature beach destinations and the adoption of smart tourism. It takes as its case study Spanish destinations taking part in publicly-funded projects and plans designed to convert them into so-called “smart destinations” (SD). Its chief goals are to identify, through the Delphi technique, the smart tourism narrative behind the drive for creating SD, as well as to see how good a fit this is with the strategic positionings of mature destinations seeking to halt their decline or take on a new lease of life by introducing sustainability measures. Based on a review of the existing literature, we perform a critical analysis of this narrative to expose the contradictions arising when it is applied as a tool for urban renewal based on the implementation of sustainability strategies. The results aid with progress in two directions. Firstly, the article contributes new conceptual elements on the role of SD in the urban transformation of tourist destinations as a response to the challenges of global competitiveness. The second contribution, which is applied in nature and based on the study of a variety of Spanish tourist destinations, analyzes the impact the application of smart tourism-based technological solutions may have upon sustainability. Specifically, it examines the actions of different mass tourism beach destinations and discusses their actual ability to foster renewal in the field of tourism and offer solutions for overcoming urban sustainability problems. Lastly, it offers some recommendations for mature beach destination managers interested in implementing smart tourism projects based on sustainability criteria. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
From Religious Belief to Intangible Cultural Heritage Tourism: A Case Study of Mazu Belief
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4229; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104229 - 21 May 2020
Abstract
Mazu belief was recognized by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the Intangible cultural heritage of Humanity in 2009, which is China’s first world-class folklore intangible cultural heritage. More than 5000 Mazu temples and 200 million tourists who believe in [...] Read more.
Mazu belief was recognized by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the Intangible cultural heritage of Humanity in 2009, which is China’s first world-class folklore intangible cultural heritage. More than 5000 Mazu temples and 200 million tourists who believe in Mazu can be found worldwide. The aim of the study was to take Meizhou Island as a case study to understand the relationships among tourists’ perceived value, place attachment, and revisit intention. In total, 424 tourists in Meizhou Island were surveyed and structural equation modeling was performed to test such relationships. Results show that tourists’ perceived value has a significant positive impact on place attachment (p < 0.05), which in turn has a significant positive impact on revisit intention (p < 0.05). The results of bootstrap test show that the confidence intervals are (0.001, 0.328), (0.147, 0.425), (0.058, 0.396), (0.092, 0.408), respectively, which do not contain 0. Therefore, place attachment acts as a complete intermediary in the relationship between tourism resources and service value, social value, cost value, and revisit intention. The confidence interval of the direct effect of cultural value and revisit intention is (0.193, 0.501), which does not contain 0, indicating that place attachment acts as a partial mediator in the relationship between cultural value and revisit intention. Findings of this study would be of use to readers of cultural tourism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Validity of Dynamic Capabilities in the Operation Based on New Sustainability Narratives on Nature Tourism SMEs and Clusters
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031004 - 30 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study aims to validate the relationships between the dynamic capabilities in the operation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that constitute the Nature Tourism Cluster (also known as “ecotourism”) in Colombia, through the application of surveys to managers and owners of hotels [...] Read more.
This study aims to validate the relationships between the dynamic capabilities in the operation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that constitute the Nature Tourism Cluster (also known as “ecotourism”) in Colombia, through the application of surveys to managers and owners of hotels and lodgings of rural tourism, travel agencies, tour guides and operators, bars, restaurants and tourist transport centers, whose data obtained, support our hypothesis that the dynamic capacities of absorption, adaptation and innovation influence the functioning of SMEs, while at the cluster level, there is an positive relationship in the interaction of absorption and innovation capabilities. The greatest contribution of our research consists in the development of an empirical study that is based on the main contributions of the dynamic capabilities promoted by Teece (absorption, adaptation and innovation), and that allowed to determine the degree of influence that managers have to take decisions and undertake sustainable ecotourism actions, both at the SME level and at the cluster level. For this reason, our research provides a better understanding of how dynamic capabilities operate at the individual commercial level, as well as at the cluster level, in the combination of absorption, adaptation and innovation capabilities to foster new sustainability narratives and maintain sustainable ecotourism. Our results also point out the limitations and challenges for the sustainable tourism sector in Colombia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Can Location-Based Social Media and Online Reservation Services Tell More about Local Accommodation Industries than Open Governmental Data?
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 5926; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11215926 - 24 Oct 2019
Abstract
The paper follows-up ongoing research focusing on the potential of machine-readable data as additional knowledge in the governance of local tourism and destination management organizations (DMOs) in Slovakia. The current focus is on one classic social media (Facebook), one location-based social media (Foursquare), [...] Read more.
The paper follows-up ongoing research focusing on the potential of machine-readable data as additional knowledge in the governance of local tourism and destination management organizations (DMOs) in Slovakia. The current focus is on one classic social media (Facebook), one location-based social media (Foursquare), two hybrid travel-related platforms with partial attributes of reservation services (Google Places, TripAdvisor), and two online reservation services (Booking, Airbnb). The global aim is the usage of extracted data for the identification of additional entities with the obligation of local occupancy taxation, which is the financial backbone of Slovak (DMOs). A set of simple and globally reusable scripts constructed in Python and PostgreSQL were used to extract data on lodging providers from the Google Places application programming interface (API), the Facebook Place Search API and the Foursquare Venue API over grid overlays of districts’ spatial representation. For pure scientific purposes in the case of Tripadvisor, Booking, and Airbnb, with no suitable access to open APIs, web scraping methods were used for data extraction. The pilot case was applied in the boundaries of Kosice city (Slovakia), and the aggregations of processed data were compared with official open statistics. Results indicate that the automated continuous monitoring of online platforms could help local public administrations in decreasing occupancy tax evasions and even widen knowledge about online audiences and visitors’ satisfaction. Full article
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