Palma, from 23 to 25 October 2013
Celebrating and Enhancing the Tourism
Knowledge-based Platform: A Tribute to Jafar Jafari

Home pageProgrammeAccommodation and rent a carDirectionsContact
General programme, activity sheet

Friday 25 October, 2013 15:20 to 15:40 Oral Communication
The touristic capital of resorts. Rethinking resort development
Speaker: Christophe Clivaz, University Institute Kurt Bösch (IUKB)

Authors: C. Clivaz, O. Crevoisier, L. Kébir, S. Nahrath, M. Stock

The research on the evolution, transformation and restructuring of tourist resorts has been flourishing since the 1970’s. It is framed since Butler (1980; 2006) either as “tourism area life-cycle” with several stages or as restructuring of tourist resorts (Williams & Shaw, 1997; Agarwal, 2012). The first seeks to explain the development of tourist resorts as guided by an overloaded “carrying capacity”, with a crisis as consequence and subsequent decline or rejuvenation. The second seeks to analyse the political and economical conditions of the economical transformations of resorts. Because of the over-simplification of complex processes, we propose an alternative view of tourist resorts development. We will unfold this in two steps: 1) A reflection upon differentiated trajectories of tourist resorts. Because resort development is a process, there is an attention on the quality of time and historicity, which is lacking in contemporary models. Moreover, there is also the transformation from tourist resorts in cities to think of, that means the possibility for a tourist resort to develop in the course of time others economic functions than tourism. A first effort is devoted to the conceptualisation of the trajectories of tourist resorts: we use a typology of “abyss” (collapse of the tourism sector without another economic alternative), “metamorphosis” (transformation of the tourist resort in a place where tourism is no more the dominant economic sector) and “relay” (capacity of a resort to keep its touristic attractiveness). These trajectories have to be understood as ideal-typical trajectories of tourist resorts. 2) At the core of the explanation of resort development is construed the concept of “touristic capital” of tourist resorts. It means the competitive advantages accumulated and activated by a local system and a set of actors within a “global touristic field”. We suggest a capital of geographical places, which is played out by multiple actors in order to maintain the “touristicity” of the resort or to support its metamorphosis into another kind of place (e.g. tourist city or residential suburb). Those advantages are relative to the capital of other resorts, and relative to the judgements of multiple actors. Since tourists, markets, institutions, etc. are now globalised, this happens within the global touristic field, a constellation expressing the power relationships between resorts. Based explicitly on an analogy with the concepts of “capital” and “field” developed in sociology by Bourdieu (1979, 1984), the concept of touristic capital is defined as a set of physical, economic, political, geographical and symbolical characteristics that enable a place to position itself in the competitive field of tourist places. The elements are interdependent and as a result the touristic capital is more than the sum of its parts. We distinguish six different elements of the touristic capital of resorts which will be presented in details during the conference: money (investment capacity of the resort), knowledge (processes of learning, human capital about tourism), governance (power relations, type of collaboration between the local stakeholders), resource (sustainability of the management of biophysical, aesthetic and infrastructural resources), urbanness (urban quality of the resort) and image (capacity of the resort to maintain its reputation). This alternative approach of resort development is at the moment empirically tested in three resorts in Switzerland, Zermatt (relay trajectory), Montreux (metamorphosis trajectory) and Finhaut (abyss trajectory). Bibliography Agarwal S. (2012). Relational spatiality and resort restructuring, Annals of Tourism Research, Volume 39, Issue 1, Pages 134-154. Bourdieu P. (1979). La Distinction. Critique sociale du jugement, Coll. Le sens commun, Paris : Minuit. Bourdieu P. (1984). Quelques propriétés des champs, in Questions de sociologie, Paris : Minuit, pp.113-120. Butler R.W. (1980). The Concept of the Tourist Area Cycle of Evolution: Implications for Management of Resources. Canadian Geographer, Volume 24, Pages 5-12. Butler R.W. (ed.) (2006). The tourism area life cycle, vol. 1 and 2, Channel View Publications. Williams A. & Shaw G. (1997). Riding the Big Dipper: the Rise and Decline of the British Seaside Resort in the Twentieth Century, in Shaw G. & Williams A. (eds.), The Rise and Fall of British Coastal Resorts: Cultural and Economies Perspectives. Coll. Pinter, pp.1-18.
Further information:

Submited paper (18 KB)

Session 7 – Destination development and management (2)
Place: Room SB03

Other activities in Session 7 – Destination development and management (2)
15:40 h. to 16:00 h.Oral Communication

Prioritizing decisions: destination choice versus travel mode

Speaker: Francisco  Sastre Albertí, University of the Balearic Islands, Spain
Speaker: Natividad  Juaneda Sampol, Vice-Chancellor, University of the Balearic Islands, Spain
15:00 h. to 15:20 h.Oral Communication

Can Religion Affiliation Determine International Tourist Flows?

Speaker: Jaume Rosselló, Universitat de les Illes Balears