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Innovative and sustainable tourism strategies: A viable alternative for Romania’s economic development

Monica Maria Coroş (Department of Hospitality Services, Faculty of Business, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
Oana Adriana Gică (Department of Hospitality Services, Faculty of Business, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
Anca C. Yallop (Department of Management, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)
Ovidiu Ioan Moisescu (Department of Marketing, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 9 October 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, sustainable tourism is a form of tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing the opportunity for the future. It is an industry that aims at having a low impact upon the environment and local culture, generating income and employment, and ensuring the conservation of local ecosystems. The aim of this paper is to examine the ways in which the development and promotion of a new tourism product based on unique rural heritage and traditions contribute to the development of sustainable tourism strategies in Romania.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper includes a literature review on the topic of sustainable tourism in post-conflict destinations and provides arguments for the adoption and development of sustainable tourism. Using a case study methodological approach, this paper provides an example of a sustainable tourism destination from the Central development region of Romania (Alba County, Transylvania) to depict specific sustainable tourism practices and their impact on the place, in a post-communist and post-conflict context. The study uses a comprehensive desk-research based on secondary data from key industry and academic sources.

Findings

The research findings show that rural tourism can greatly support the (re)development of post-conflict destinations, and it makes a significant contribution to the sustainable development of the Romanian tourism industry, in general, and rural economies in particular, as shown in the case examined in this paper.

Practical implications

This paper illustrates that fostering the unique rural heritage and traditions of a post-conflict destination can contribute to the revival and sustainable development of the place. Sustainable tourism practices contribute not only financially to a destination but also to its social infrastructures, jobs, nature conservation, adoption of new working practices and the revitalisation of passive and poor rural areas.

Originality/value

This paper examines and depicts rural tourism development as an innovative and sustainable strategy for Romania, a post-conflict destination that experienced severe political and social turmoil during the communist regime, and ethnic conflicts and violent events in the 1990s. The research findings may be applicable to other geographic regions and post-conflict destinations with similar contexts.

Keywords

Citation

Coroş, M.M., Gică, O.A., Yallop, A.C. and Moisescu, O.I. (2017), "Innovative and sustainable tourism strategies: A viable alternative for Romania’s economic development", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 9 No. 5, pp. 504-515. https://doi.org/10.1108/WHATT-07-2017-0033

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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