Community empowerment in tourism decision-making processes in urban destinations. A comparative study of The Hague (Netherlands), San Sebastian (Spain) and Ioannina (Greece)

Startdatum1 april 2022
Einddatum31 maart 2024
RegelingHbo-postdoc 2018-2022
  • Economie
  • Kwaliteit van de omgeving
  • Op weg naar veerkrachtige samenlevingen
  • Smart, liveable cities
  • Geen
  • Veerkrachtige samenleving: in wijk, stad en regio
  • Gebouwde omgeving duurzaam en leefbaar

The impacts of tourism on destinations and the perceptions of local communities have been a major concern both for the industry and research in the past decades. However, tourism planning has been mainly focused on traditions that promote the increase of tourism without taking under consideration the wellbeing of both residents and visitors. To develop a more sustainable tourism model, the inclusion of local residents in tourism decision-making is vital. However, this is not always possible due to structural, economic and socio-cultural restrictions that residents face resulting to their disempowerment. This study aims to explore and interpret the formal processes around tourism decision-making and community empowerment in urban settings. The research proposes a comparative study of three urban destinations in Europe (The Hague in the Netherlands, San Sebastian in Spain and, Ioannina in Greece) that experience similar degree of tourism growth. The proposed study will use a design-based approach in order to understand tourism decision-making and what empowers or disempowers community participation within the destinations. Based on the findings of primary and secondary data, a community empowerment model will be applied in one the destinations as a pilot for resident engagement in tourism planning. The evaluation of the pilot will allow for an optimized model to be created with implications for tourism planning at a local level that can contribute to sustainable destinations that safeguard the interests of local residents and tourists.