New Perspectives in Tourism & Leisure

Research Lines and Projects

Research lines

  • Analysing the stability or redesign of governance models, strategies and relationships with the environment surrounding the socio-economic structures that include or are directly related to tourist activities.
  • Studying the emergence of cooperative-based ideas and their manifestations in local microgeographies.
  • Observing the existence of different kinds of divides (climate, digital, gender, etc.) that may impact tourist developments.
  • Analysing trends in factors (such as awareness, personal values, lifestyles and priorities) that characterize tourist consumer behaviour, with special emphasis on aspects affected by the post-pandemic situation.
  • Understanding how expectations of potential tourist consumption evolve and how this may affect the balance of organizational decision-making.
  • Finding out the extent to which there will be a real transformation in the organizational culture of tourism businesses and where this transformation is headed.
  • Understanding the effect upon tourism jobs of aspects such as restrictions on mobility, social distancing and the growing awareness of local activities, with an interest in phenomena such as digital nomadism.
  • Observing how the public authorities adapt to new needs with regard to the monitoring of tourism data within a context of growing availability but also greater complexity in the management of such data.
  • Studying of trends in residents’ perceptions of future developments in tourist activities and understanding if their input, expressed in the form of the different manifestations of social movements, will continue to accrue the importance it seemed to have achieved before the pandemic.
  • Analysing the possible emergence of models of regenerative tourism, permatourism or models associated with post-growth and degrowth viewpoints, including the need to develop economic systems that are both sustainable and fair with regard to wealth distribution.
  • Observing the possible emergence of planning proposals that are more collaborative, which seek to minimize as far as possible any potential impact and to design and organize their own kinds of tourism models, based on their specific resources and the idiosyncrasies of their local communities.
  • Analysing developments in supply, demand and jobs in those tourist initiatives mediated by digital platforms, in a context of the ongoing transformation of all these aspects.
  • Observing whether new forms of marketing and of the associated business models can bring about refreshed kinds of relationships between consumers and providers via technologies and whether the potential appearance of new relationship channels presents an opportunity for agents of change proposing new alternative offerings for transforming tourism in future scenarios.
  • Ascertaining whether ICT can foster regeneration, resilience or degrowth processes in tourism in different types of destinations.
  • Achieving a greater understanding of the use and adoption by tourism consumers of the experiences produced by virtual or augmented reality-related technologies and their satisfaction with them, within a context of changing mobility and potential restrictions on said mobility.
  • Analysing the intersections between technology and sustainability, on the understanding that one element that could potentially become more important is the fostering of new forms of tourist activity governance, planning and management, mediated by technologies such as platforms and virtual and augmented reality.

 

CURRENT R&D PROJECTS

  • EPTUR. «Procesos adaptativos e impactos de la economía de plataforma turística en España en un contexto de cambio continuo. Un análisis desde la comparativa territorial». Programa estatal de Investigación, Desarrollo e innovación orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad. Agencia Estatal de Investigación. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. 2021-2024.

The EPTUR project starts from the conceptual and methodological reflections and the results obtained in the previous ECCOLTUR project, developed by the Noutur from the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), to which it has the will to give continuity and depth, as well as different investigations led within it. It also draws on the experience and results obtained by researchers from the Urban and Tourism Studies group (URByTUR) of the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) who participate in this proposal, as well as those related to new researchers who join the team. from other national and international universities and institutions, forming a solid, inter and multidisciplinary research team with complementary backgrounds and knowledge.

 

Based on the background and previous results of the research team, the EPTUR project sets the general scientific objective of analyzing the evolution and processes of integration, adaptation and resilience of the tourist platform economy (TPE) in Spain in the current context of acceleration of digitization processes, accentuated by the SARS-CoV-2 or Covid-19 crisis, and from a territorial comparison. We start from the hypothesis that the acceleration of digitalization processes, accentuated in the current context of the mobility crisis generated by the pandemic, is generating and will generate an adaptive transformation of the manifestations of TPE in our country, with consequences of various kinds for the sustainability of the tourist destinations where it is present, as well as for the viability of the associated sectors. Considering the magnitude that tourism has historically had in production and employment in our country and the growing relevance of TPE in it, understanding these processes and the resulting transformations and impacts is a particularly relevant challenge at a social and economic level. In this sense, we also consider that digitization processes can be a backbone of the reinitiation and recovery of tourism and that the performativities acquired by the TPE can decisively influence the socioeconomic effects of said recovery, even more so being one of the identified strategic lines by the Government and the European Union for the future development of the country. Furthermore, given the territorial diversity of our country, we understand that these processes will entail unequal and diverse adaptations and resilience, requiring a comparative study as well as the identification of new sources of information and variables for their understanding and subsequent management. Finally, we consider that the gender perspective must be included in a transversal way in all our objectives given the unequal impact of TPE on women, as well as the existing potential for female entrepreneurship in the interweaving of this phenomenon with the social economy.

 

COMPLETED R&D PROJECTS

 

  • ECCOLTUR. “Economía colaborativa y espacios turísticos: contribuciones, transformaciones y retos” (Collaborative economics and tourist spaces: contributions, transformations and challenges). Programa estatal de Investigación, Desarrollo e innovación orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad. Dirección General de Investigación Científica y Técnica. Subdirección General de Proyectos de Investigación. Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. 2018-2020.

The ECCOLTUR project considers the general scientific objective of analysing the transformations that the sharing economy (SE) is generating in tourist spaces and their effects on the development, competitiveness and sustainability of tourist destinations at different scales and contexts with a clear intention of transfers of knowledge. Given the novelty of the theme, this also entails the development of an innovative analytical, conceptual and methodological framework for its analysis and understanding and approaching the phenomenon from a multiscalar and comparative perspective. It comes from the hypothesis that the sharing economy has emerged in an irruptive way in today’s society, particularly in tourism, generating transformations, conflicts and impacts of all kinds. In the field of tourism, SE ecosystems add new alternative proposals to conventional production and consumption models and, at the same time, their introduction into tourist spaces tends to generate tensions and disruptive products that cause impacts on traditional sectors. These new ways of functioning obey to global logics rooted in social movements but also to their exploitation by capitalism of platforms that result in the inequality of the impacts on a local scale and in a complexity of the phenomenon. In this context, tourism provides a heuristic environment to understand these elements as well as the challenges and opportunities that the SE can offer to create new economic models and to contribute to the generation of more sustainable societies.

 

  • MOVIMENTS. “Reconeixement i anàlisi dels moviments ciutadans de resistència i protesta davant els impactes del creixement del capitalisme de plataforma turístic. El cas de la ciutat de Barcelona”. (Recognition and analysis of citizen movements of resistance and protest against the impacts of the growth of capitalism on the tourist platform). . Convocatòria d’Ajuts de la UOC per a Projectes de Recerca Interdisciplinària. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya i La Caixa. 2018.

The present proposal arises from the willingness to create an inter-studies collaboration between four UOC research groups to address a critical reflection on the movements of resistance and protest against the impacts of the growth of platform capitalism in tourism in the last years and taking advantage of the laboratory that represents the city of Barcelona. Its main objectives are: 1) To create a solid theoretical and methodological framework regarding the main aspects that characterize these movements of resistance and protest as well as its impact, taking into account the most relevant literature from an interdisciplinary perspective, 2) Understand and characterize the discourses of resistance and / or protest generated in social networks due to the growth of platform capitalism in the tourism context of Barcelona.

 

Enhancing quality jobs, apprenticeships and traineeships in the tourism sector across Europe (Pilot Project “Youth on the SPOT – Special Partnership for Tourism” – DG Growth). #IdEATE is a European project worked between 2016 and 2018 that involved ten partners from six different countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Italy and Spain). IdEATE has developed a sustainable model helping to connect main players active in the field of tourism (job seekers, prospective employers and SMEs, training institutions, public authorities) with the aim to facilitate the uptake of high quality jobs, apprenticeships and traineeships positions in the tourism sector across the EU.

 

Smart Tourist Destinations in the counties of Barcelona: Diagnosis and Action Proposals. (Documents in Catalan) (DIBA-UOC, 2016-2018). Collaboration between the Tourism Laboratory of the Diputació de Barcelona and NOUTUR to carry out an exhaustive diagnosis of the situation of tourist destinations in Barcelona in relation to tourism intelligence.

 

The social capital in the cultural events of Catalonia. An analysis of its potential as a resource for local development. (Documents in Catalan)(CoNCA- UOC, 2013-2015). Collaboration between the Consell Nacional de la Cultura i de les Arts and NOUTUR for the analysis of existing social capital in cultural events in Catalonia in relation to local development.

 

The cultural events in Catalonia. Identification, location and comparative analysis of popular culture activities. (Documents in Catalan)(CoNCA-UOC, 2013-2015). Inventory of events promoted by the Consell Nacional de la Cultura i de les Arts i la Direcció General de Cultura Popular, Associacionisme i Acció Culturals where the current situation of popular culture events in Catalonia is organized and described.

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