Knowledge Management in Tourism: Policy and Governance Applications: Volume 4

Cover of Knowledge Management in Tourism: Policy and Governance Applications

Table of contents

(26 chapters)

Knowledge Management in Tourism: Policy and Governance Applications is dedicated to some of tourism's most pressing issues: development, sustainability, climate change, innovation, science and technology, and governance.

The first part of the book is dedicated to the complex issue of development and the role tourism can play in its achievement. In the first chapter, Fayos-Solà, Fuentes, and Muñoz Mazón set the stage by examining various development theories and approaches from the last 50 years. It becomes evident that the intensely pro-development policies following the end of World War II and the emergence of the United Nations group of organizations were replaced, beginning in the 1970s, with a surge of institutional theory and practice advocating the market as the almost sole purveyor of prosperity, or, supposedly, development. In this context, it was argued, all tourism needs is a free-market environment to create employment, income, modernization, and economic growth, and these all were equated with development.

A broad agreement exists that tourism is an effective instrument for social and economic development. However, there is no specific theoretical or practical framework of tourism for development to be found. Even the key issues have remained unformulated: concept of development, tourism's contributions to development, and tourism policy and governance for development. This chapter first summarizes the development paradigms held in the last decades (modernization, neoliberalism, dependency, and sustainability) vis-à-vis tourism, and then goes on to consider proposals emanating from New Institutional Economics and the Theory of Social Capital. It concludes with the results of a 2011 enquiry, involving some 60 international experts.

One of the challenges in global sustainable tourism development is knowledge flow and sharing among development assistance donors and recipients in developing countries. This chapter integrates the concepts of knowledge management and consensus building to construct a virtual network, leveraging information communication technologies for identifying global tourism priorities and sharing knowledge for sustainable development. The factors and relationships that influence the effective use of professional virtual communities for knowledge sharing are identified and examined. They are integrated for proposing a conceptual framework to study effective knowledge sharing in virtual communities for global sustainable tourism development.

Local natural and cultural resources should be the basic elements to differentiate destinations through innovative products and services, in order to ensure both their competitiveness and sustainability in the long run. This chapter covers a critical literature review on the topics of innovation, differentiation, competitiveness, and sustainability in tourism. A panel data model is developed in order to define regional demand functions for regions in Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy, estimating the influence of natural and cultural heritage, innovation, and other “traditional” factors of competitiveness on the attractiveness of tourism destinations.

Tourism is considered today to be the leading economic activity, contributing more than 10% to the world's gross domestic product. Given its importance, especially in developing countries, it becomes significant to study ways to improve its competitiveness. This chapter discusses ways to enhance the development and competitiveness of tourism regions. It uses local or territorial economic development and empowerment as its theoretical frameworks in order to examine social capital. The focus will be on how the latter can be a factor supporting tourism development at local levels. Lebanese regions are used to show how social capital is affecting competitiveness.

Novel approaches to tourism have been encouraged as a development strategy for the developing world, from governments and international organizations in the fulfillment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The UNWTO has been playing an important role in this regard with the launch of programs like UNWTO.Volunteers. The literature reveals, however, that the majority of development programs still follow neoliberal approaches, despite a growing interest in applying knowledge and learning postrationalist approaches. Through a case study undertaken in 2008 focusing on UNWTO.Volunteers and its application in Chiapas, this chapter discusses how knowledge and learning approaches are being applied by UNWTO, arguing that it makes an attempt to follow some of the premises claimed by postrationalist theories.

Many tourists are interested in locally beneficial experiences, which should afford opportunities for vulnerable individuals to earn their way out of poverty. However, host communities remain largely relegated to the role of passive tourees receiving only scraps from the tourism industry. This chapter introduces “People-First Tourism,” a project that attempts to leverage information technology innovations and ubiquitous cell phones to provide micro-entrepreneurs with access to markets and to support peer networks, with two factors accounting for much of tourism's unfulfilled potential to enable dignified and sustainable rural livelihoods. The chapter reports the findings from fieldwork conducted in South Africa in January–February 2010, testing project validity with individuals from rural communities and with high-level tourism and telecom stakeholders.

This chapter argues that substantial potential exists for service encounter-based innovation in tourism. However, there are also a number of obstacles. Based on theoretical discussions on potentials and obstacles, a Knowledge Chain Model of service encounter-based innovation in tourism is developed. It suggests how weak or broken knowledge chains limit companies’ potential for benefiting from service encounter-based innovation. The relevance of the model is illustrated by a comparative case study of four tourism companies. In light of the theoretical frameworks and empirical findings, the chapter suggests how experimental methods can join research and practice to enhance the innovative potential of tourism companies while providing the research community with valuable knowledge.

Climate change poses a significant challenge for the tourism industry and is a further inhibitor to the sustainable development objectives of tourism destinations. Recognizing the importance of these issues in 2011 and drawing together a number of the leading works in the field, this chapter provides a contextual background to climate change and tourism, debates the implications for the industry and issues such as adaptation, mitigation, and poverty alleviation. The discussion concludes with recommendations for governance and policy, adaptation and mitigation, and knowledge management, research, and education.

This chapter examines tourism policy processes in Chile in reference to sustainability, and the role of the government and governance in the delivery of sustainable practices in this country. There is a gap in the research examining national governance structures in the development and implementation of sustainable tourism policies, despite the importance and the high policy priority given to this task by the United Nations Environment Program and United Nations World Tourism Organization. Study data was collected in three stages: document and website analysis, interviews, and a semi-structured online questionnaire with key industry stakeholders. The findings indicate that the concept of sustainability appears to be at an embryonic stage in Chile, and that emerging policies seem to be leading the way in terms of sustainable development. Government policy and governance structures are still at the formulation stage and threats to this process are also highlighted.

Small island developing states and their natural and socioeconomic environments are considered particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change. Albeit tourism is often regarded as the future economic driver for many such destinations, the industry has received relatively little attention in local and regional adaptation processes. This chapter specifically explores the role that donor funding has played in facilitating adaptation of tourism-related activities in Kiribati and Tuvalu and proposes ways to more effectively enhance outcomes. Theoretical and practical insights are provided, discussing how adaptations are not only shaped by awareness and motivations of local and governmental stakeholders, but how these are also informed by regional and international donors and their implementing agencies.

While sustainability issues in the tourism industry have been the subject of substantial research, such issues have not been well discussed in the field of events which is increasingly supporting tourism plans. The environmental sustainability of events in particular has not been thoroughly addressed, and sustainable tourism accreditation schemes have generally omitted events from their scope. Green Globe, an environmental accreditation scheme for tourism, suggests 25 different types of schemes to benchmark different sectors of the industry but fails to directly address events. This chapter evaluates the adaptability of Green Globe's environmental accreditation scheme to the event sector. Eight different indicators can be applied to special events. Six are suitable for events in their current state while two others require some adjustment.

In the context of a changing global environment, governance is understood as one of the main strategic pillars of the shifting paradigm. Governance is an evolved model of governing which is conceptualized as a system to define and implement strategies, in which decisions are the result of interaction between public and private institutions and society. They need to work together within a set of values and principles: openness, participation, consultation, dialogue, innovation, coordination, strong leadership, effectiveness, accountability, and more. In tourism, governance is increasingly becoming a consolidated system to create and implement inclusive management processes. Thus, governance becomes the cornerstone for the success of destinations to achieve sustainable development.

Community integration is considered as one of the integral components of tourism sustainability. This study analyzes the residents’ perceptions of the impact of tourism and community integration in tourism planning in Costa Smeralda, a destination located in the island of Sardinia, Italy. The study suggests that residents recognize, even if slightly, the economic, environmental, and sociocultural benefits of tourism and would like to support its further development in their area. However, a low level of community integration was also found, suggesting that policymakers should run internal marketing operations based on the residents’ sociodemographic characteristics so that they feel involved and committed to tourism planning and place branding.

The emerging challenges of the tourism market determine a strategic and urgent need to introduce the sustainability paradigm into destination planning in order to pursue balanced development and achieve or maintain a long-term competitive advantage. This chapter focuses on destination governance to build projects on the principles of sustainability by involving local stakeholders in decision making. The discussion on the application of an embedded governance model relates to marginal rural areas of Central European countries (Italy, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovenia), where the European Project Listen to the Voice of Villages leverages sustainable tourism to improve the welfare and quality of life of local communities.

This chapter outlines the major findings of a survey on the rationale of the European Union actions for supporting tourism development and whether these undertakings can lead to a distinctive tourism policymaking. According to Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and European Union documentation, the most important instrument for the implementation of policy is based on tourism-related separate actions analysis, in a way that would enable one to compare the policies at the national and international level. This study suggests that tourism becomes a field whose issues and actions are taken at the regional level. This calls for creating the necessary conditions for the development of the tourism product at the European Union level. Until now, European Union practices do not portend the formation of a distinctive policy in the tourism industry.

Many rural areas, even in mature economies possess an obvious yet weakly cultivated tourism potential for short stays and leisure. Even with a plurality of initiatives, the industry can remain rather fragmented. This chapter, based on quantitative and qualitative methods, provides insights into collaboration among the local entrepreneurs of such an area (case: the Flemish Ardennes in Belgium) and their willingness to participate in a regional tourism development process. It also discusses perceptions and opinions about the effectiveness of institutional actors and influential tools such as a White Paper. Though the study discerns a deep gap between collaboration discourse and common practice, it also illustrates the inauguration of a reflexive process, a change of attitudes and a clustering of activities following from a White Paper initiative.

The concept of development has gone through several paradigm shifts in the last six decades, from the post World War II idea of “modernization” to sustainability and gradualist institutions-concerned strategies, although the neoliberal laissez-faire approaches still hold considerable influence, even in international organizations. Development is a complex concept. Definitions have changed throughout time and it is crucial to understand the concept vis-à-vis tourism. It is no longer possible to defend that tourism investments will automatically create development. Understanding the nuances of the concept has become essential if one is to sustain that tourism does play a role in development.

Charles Arcodia <> is Associate Professor in the Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith University, Australia. He has held leadership positions in a variety of educational and business service contexts. An experienced educator having taught and researched in the tertiary sector for over 15 years, he has broad research interests working primarily within the fields of event management, tourism education, and intangible heritage. He is on the editorial board of a number of journals and serves as the Editor of the International Journal of Event Management Research.

Cover of Knowledge Management in Tourism: Policy and Governance Applications
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Book series
Bridging Tourism Theory and Practice
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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