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


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General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 24 October, 2013 11:30 to 11:50 Oral Communication
Smart sustainable tourism development. A new emerging paradigm in destination governance
Speaker: Roberto Micera, Institute for Service Industry Research (IRAT) National Research Council (CNR)
Speaker: Tazim  Jamal, Texas A&M University, USA

Authors: Angelo Presenza, Roberto Micera and Tazim Jamal


Aims: The paper aims to qualify the role of the Smart Destination paradigm in tourism destination governance. In particular, it wants to explore the interrelationships existing between two main concepts - Smart City and Slow Tourism - in the belief that their combined approach can support a more sustainable tourism development (Jafari, 2000). The concept of “Smart Destination” is framed in this context, as modern integrated management of destinations, using technology to optimize resources and develop new strategies based on more “bottom-up” approaches. Such an approach allows destination managers to coordinate the stakeholders in order to design an experience without a smooth transaction, to share information and knowledge, creating additional opportunities to explore and build new consumption experiences (Racherla et al., 2008). The era of globalization - or digital world - has created a new kind of information society and knowledge-based economy, that are changing human behaviour (Racherla et al., 2008). Technological innovations can make territories increasingly competitive. But rather than just focusing on the analysis of installation and control of network hardware, the purpose of this research is to understand how city governments can exploit a more ground-up approach to create smarter cities in which people become agents of change. It follows that to encapsulate the philosophy of slow tourism into the one of smart city is an interesting exercise. The guiding philosophy of slow tourism is the careful compliance of the local cultures, history and environment and the enhancement of social responsibility (Heitmann et al., 2011). Slow tourism is a philosophy based on the rediscovery of free time and its benefits, the perception of the holiday through the use of the five senses, but also the opportunity to live an experience in harmony with the destination, its inhabitants and their culture (Matos, 2004; Heitmann, et al., 2011; Yurtseven and Kaya, 2011). In this sense, then, the smart use of available resources through the application of new technologies, turns out to be a trigger factor for the spread of the philosophy of slow tourism, where is the man, whether he is a citizen, visitor or tourist, to be the core of a destination sustainable development process. Methodology: To fully illustrate the issues surrounding the smart sustainable tourism development, the case-study methodology is applied based on selected theoretical contributions to destination governance and on the more recent smart cities and slow tourism literature. The smart sustainable approach is used to compare the characteristics and practices of the Italian destinations members of the Cittaslow Association (www.cittaslow.org). Cittaslow is a growing network of 135 towns in 20 countries that have adopted a set of common goals and principles that aim to improve the quality of life of its citizens and visitors, and to share good ideas, experiences and knowledge across the Cittaslow networks (Heitmann et al., 2011; Hoeschele, 2010; Miele, 2010). Key arguments/ findings: The paper defines a smart destination model in which the role of the government and the local stakeholders in destination service strategy formulation and implementation are clearly represented. It demonstrates how smart sustainable approaches can contribute to develop bottom-up strategies based on stakeholders’ engagement in service provisioning to tourists. In the holiday experience the post-modern tourist looks for identity and diversity of his experience and not just to escape from the usual routine. It follows that the mere spread in the destination of a large amount of new smart tools and services can reveal a failed strategy if the destination governance is not able to create a supply and an use of tourism products that stimulate the interaction with the host community (contamination), enhance the specificity of the places (authenticity), minimize the impact on the environment (sustainability), improve the quality (time), involve (the end user) in multi-sensory experience (emotion), and repudiate the frenetic pace (slow).
Further information:

Submited paper (22 KB)

Session 1 – Technology
Place: Room SB03

Other activities in Session 1 – Technology
11:50 h. to 12:10 h.Oral Communication

Influence of the contents generated by travellers in the formation of the image of a tourist destination

Speaker: Bel Llodrà, Fundació BIT, Coordinadora àrea cibersocietat
12:10 h. to 12:30 h.Oral Communication

Is already tourism a technology knowledge-based industry? The increasing dominance of technology in tourism strategic management, entrepreneurship and innovation and management implications

Speaker: Julio Batle, Universitat de les Illes Balears