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Sustainability in Tourism Activities and the Low-Density and Peripheral Territories

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Tourism, Culture, and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 12431

Special Issue Editors

Faculty of Applied Sciences, WSB University, 41-300 Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland
Interests: cross-border cooperation (CBC); environmental impact assessment; international cooperation; landscape architecture; regional planning; spatial planning and territorial governance; strategic and common planning; sustainable tourism; urban and city planning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Business and Economics and CEEAplA, Universidade dos Açores, 9500-321 Ponta Delgada, Portugal
Interests: finance; real options; eco-tourism; rural-tourism; creative-tourism; tourism sustainability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Limited land, water resources, and overexploitation of tourism, among many other factors, make the ultra-peripheral and/or insular territories relevant case studies regarding their governance and their sustainable development. In fact, in the specific case of island regions, tourism regularly assumes itself as one of the main, if not the most important drivers of the regional economy, and therefore, it is critical to analyze this activity behavior based on the new challenges as the example of the desired sustainable development and growth.

Contextually, the present Special Issue (SI) expects to cross and analyze the dynamics and patterns ongoing in these peripheral territories regarding sustainability and the related issues that may have an influence over it. Moreover, recent territorial policies, as well as the phenomenon of massive tourism, among many other actual hot topics, will be crossed and discussed in the present SI.

Thus, the editors encourage the submission of works related to the topics of tourism in peripheral and ultra-peripheral regions, governance strategies and methods, regional planning, among several other topics that could relate the main scope of this Special Issue and consequently provides literature enrichment regarding this particular typology of territories and activities.

References:

Balaguer, J.; Jordá, M. Tourism as a long-run economic growth factor: The Spanish case. Appl. Econ. 2010, 34, 877–884.

Cannonier, C.; Burke, M. The economic growth impact of tourism in small islands developing states—Evidence from the Caribbean. Tour. Econ. 2019, 25, 85–108.

Fleischer, A.; Felsenstein, D. Support for rural tourism—Does it make a difference? Ann. Tour. Res. 2000, 27,1007–1024.

Fodranov, I.; Kubickova, V.; Michalkova, A. Measuring societal value of tourism: A new approach. Tourism 2015, 63, 423–434.

Hoggart, K.; Buller, H. Rural Development—A Geographical Perspective; Croom Helm Ltd.: London, UK, 1987.

Hughes, D.; Shields, M. Revisiting tourism regional economic impact: Accounting for secondary household employment. Rev. Reg. Stud. 2007, 37, 186–206.

King, R.; Strachan, A.; Mortimer, J.; Gastarbeiter, J. Go Home: Return Migration and Economic Change in the Italian Mezzogiorno. In Return Migration and Regional Economic Problems; King, R., Ed.; Croom Helm: London, UK, 1986; pp. 38–68.

Mahony, K.; Zyl, J. The Impacts of Tourism Investment on Rural Communities: Three Case Studies in South Africa. Dev. S. Afr. 2002, 19, 83–103

Morais, J., Castanho, R.A., Loures, L., Pinto-Gomes, C., and Santos, P. (2019). Villagers’ Perceptions of Tourism Activities in Iona National Park: Locality as a Key Factor in Planning for Sustainability. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4448; doi:10.3390/su11164448

Morais, J., Castanho, R. A., Pinto-Gomes, C., & Santos, P. (2018): Characteristics of Iona National Park ́s Visitors: Planning Ecotourism and sustainable development in Angola. Congent Social Sciences, Manuscript 1490235. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2018.1490235

Reeder, R.; Brown, D. Recreation, Tourism, and Rural Well-Being; Economic Research Report Number 7; Department of Agriculture, United States: Washington, DC, USA, 2005.

Santos, R., Castanho, R.A. and Lousada, S. (2019). Return Migration and Tourism Sustainability in Portugal: Extracting Opportunities for Sustainable Common Planning in Southern Europe. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6468; doi:10.3390/su11226468.

Sharpley, R.; Vass, A. Tourism, farming and diversification: An attitudinal study. Tour. Manag. 2006, 27,1040–1052.

Snyman, S. Household spending patterns and flow of ecotourism income into communities around Liwonde National Park, Malawi. Dev. S. Afr. 2013, 30, 640–658.

Stephen, P. Potential Economic contribution of regional tourism development in China: A comparative analysis. Int. J. Tour. Res. 2015, 17, 303–312.

Tohmo, T. The economic impact of tourism in Central Finland: A regional input-output study. Tour. Rev. 2018, 73, 521–547.

Prof. Dr. Rui Alexandre Castanho
Prof. Dr. Gualter Couto
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • low-density territories
  • insular and peripheral regions
  • sustainable development
  • sustainability
  • eco-tourism
  • tourism sustainability
  • tourism

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 1230 KiB  
Article
Effects of COVID-19 on the Tourism Sector: Learning from the Azores Islands
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13339; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813339 - 06 Sep 2023
Viewed by 606
Abstract
This research aims to examine the impact of COVID-19 on businesses operating in the tourism industry in the Azores. The objective of this survey, conducted in 2021 and 2022, was to investigate the preventive and management measures implemented by the tourist firms, in [...] Read more.
This research aims to examine the impact of COVID-19 on businesses operating in the tourism industry in the Azores. The objective of this survey, conducted in 2021 and 2022, was to investigate the preventive and management measures implemented by the tourist firms, in this outermost region of Portugal, in response to the pandemic, along with the effects on profitability. Additionally, the study aims to assess the contribution of financial support from the regional government toward these businesses’ sustainability and anticipate future expectations. The temporary closure of businesses was the most frequently adopted measure by the firms to adapt to the ongoing pandemic. Most companies reported a significant decline in profitability, with a reduction in customers being the primary contributing factor. Most firms availed themselves of the preceding financial support structures provided by the regional government. Looking forward, the firms expressed their intention to retain their current employees. At the same time, their biggest concern was the potential decrease in consumer demand, even in the context of well-established public health safety protocols. Full article
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31 pages, 7314 KiB  
Article
Rural Tourism—Viable Alternatives for Preserving Local Specificity and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development: Case Study—“Valley of the Kings” (Gurghiului Valley, Mureș County, Romania)
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 16295; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142316295 - 06 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2690
Abstract
Rural tourism, defined as a form of local initiative tourism, has at its forefront the involvement of the local community, who contribute significantly to the affirmation and promotion of this type of tourism. In order to be able to speak of the practice [...] Read more.
Rural tourism, defined as a form of local initiative tourism, has at its forefront the involvement of the local community, who contribute significantly to the affirmation and promotion of this type of tourism. In order to be able to speak of the practice of this type of tourism in a given geographical area, it is first necessary to highlight the existence of a tourist heritage, both natural and anthropic, which identifies itself with the authentic character of the area, satisfying the need of the tourist to discover activities and tourist attractions with local specificity. The purpose of this research is to investigate the role of socio-economic and cultural aspects in the sustainable development of tourism in the Gurghiului Valley. The present study also aims to highlight the role of local entrepreneurs in the process of economic development in the area by means of new practices and sustainable approaches; this is based on efficient capitalization of the natural and anthropic tourism heritage of the area, defined by elements of authenticity. The methodology applied in this work is based on the study of specialized literature, along with case study on tourist activity in rural tourism. The research carried out is based on analysis of data from official sources of tourist data (the National Tourism Agency (hereafter NTA) and the National Institute of Statistics (hereafter NIS)), as well as research carried out in the field to see if there are discrepancies between what these two aforementioned official sources provide and the reality on the ground. Our research finally revealed the fact that Gurghiului Valley officially entered into the tourist landscape in 1990 through the lens of the Lăpușna student and preschool camp, and rural tourism has been organized in the study area since 2005. At the same time, research has shown that there is currently a need for much greater involvement and awareness both from local authorities and the resident population regarding the importance of rural tourism in the social and economic evolution of the local community. Full article
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9 pages, 1485 KiB  
Communication
Inland or Coastal: That’s the Question! Different Impacts of COVID-19 on the Tourism Sector in Portugal
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 16248; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142316248 - 05 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 922
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic had severe implications in different economic sectors, among them tourism, with countries where tourism has a relevant economic role, such as Portugal, being greatly affected. However, the impact was different in the various regions of the country, which could be [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic had severe implications in different economic sectors, among them tourism, with countries where tourism has a relevant economic role, such as Portugal, being greatly affected. However, the impact was different in the various regions of the country, which could be related to some tourism units, being more isolated or with fewer rooms, being seen as more attractive and safer. Based on data from Portuguese firms, and distinguishing their location between coastal and inland, it is possible to conclude that inland tourism units were less affected than coastal ones, which could be related to tourists seeking less densely populated areas, a relevant conclusion for the different agents. Full article
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15 pages, 2420 KiB  
Article
Standardized Reading of Sustainable Tourism Indicators for Ultraperipheral Regions
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14076; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114076 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1237
Abstract
Sustainable development raises various challenges in terms of UPR for putting public policies into effect, and the concept, namely about the definition of metrics, is adapted to small parcels of territory. The objective of the present study is to introduce an alphanumeric reading [...] Read more.
Sustainable development raises various challenges in terms of UPR for putting public policies into effect, and the concept, namely about the definition of metrics, is adapted to small parcels of territory. The objective of the present study is to introduce an alphanumeric reading scale for the tourism sustainability indicators in UPR, to be precise, Madeira and the Azores to allow a better interpretation and understanding. A total of 25 indicators were compared in the last 5 years and with the COVID-19 pandemic, although there are positive performances, a lack of data was observed for some indicators, and some lack of information in the last 2 years or more. During the last 5 years, the pillar of environmental sustainability has maintained its ideal form, but in comparison with the last 2 years, it has moved to critical status, which is in part a consequence of the lack of recorded data. There are indicators that are not registered on the UPR and some data from Turismo de Portugal refer only to the mainland zone. The major implication is raised in terms of the existing indicator systems, which are not all provided periodically, influencing the interpretation of the indicators of Portuguese UPR. Consequently, assertive, sustainable decisions are difficult to be taken based on non-existent or insufficient data. Full article
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14 pages, 4634 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Characteristics and Influencing Factors of Tourism Revenue in the Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration Region during 2001–2019
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3658; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073658 - 25 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1865
Abstract
Green development is a solution to achieve sustainable development, while tourism development is one of the best approaches to realize a green economy. As the most rapid economic development region in China, the Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration (YRDUA) has also witnessed rapid [...] Read more.
Green development is a solution to achieve sustainable development, while tourism development is one of the best approaches to realize a green economy. As the most rapid economic development region in China, the Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration (YRDUA) has also witnessed rapid changes in its tourism economy during 2001–2019. Here, we analyzed the spatiotemporal patterns of its tourism revenue, and further identified contributions from multiple socio-economic factors using spatial analysis tools and regression models. The total tourism revenue increased 14.35 fold, with an annual increase rate of 79.73% during 2001–2019. The proportion of tourism revenue to the GDP continuously increased from 11.57% in 2001 to 18.89% in 2019. Tourism revenue increased for all cities, with the least increasing rates in the metropolitan cities including Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou and Hangzhou, and the largest increase rates in Ma’anshan, Hefei, Huzhou and Zhoushan. A regression and causality test indicated that different socioeconomic factors controlled the spatiotemporal variation patterns in different cities. The economic structure in the YRDUA has undergone significant shifts, with an increasing importance of tourism revenue in the GDP for most cities and a reducing discrepancy of tourism revenue among cities. Our study can enable the policy makers to be aware of the magnitude, temporal variation patterns, differences among cities and controlling factors for tourism development, and thus take suitable measures to further promote green tourism development in the YRDUA region. Full article
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26 pages, 5391 KiB  
Article
Summer Farmers, Diversification and Rural Tourism—Challenges and Opportunities in the Wake of the Entrepreneurial Turn in Swedish Policies (1991–2019)
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5217; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125217 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3230
Abstract
Since the 1990s Swedish authorities have increasingly treated summer farms as businesses, expecting them to generate profits like any other firm. However, in addition to being financially independent, summer farms are expected to provide a number of services, to help maintain biological heritage, [...] Read more.
Since the 1990s Swedish authorities have increasingly treated summer farms as businesses, expecting them to generate profits like any other firm. However, in addition to being financially independent, summer farms are expected to provide a number of services, to help maintain biological heritage, provide beautiful landscapes for tourists, and much more. Summer farmers are also forced to co-exist with other local stakeholders that base their activities on the same resources, e.g., adventure and nature-based tourism, agriculture, and other businesses. All of this creates a number of entrepreneurial challenges but can also open new windows of opportunity. The response of summer farmers has been to diversify activities to cope with shrinking income and the seasonal character of their trade. Most new business strategies include tourism or increasing the number of cattle rationalizing animal husbandry. The strategies have partly been influenced by policies and partly by new market opportunities. Departing from a business, spatial and institutional contextual analysis we identified five main entrepreneurial strategies, three of which are related to rural tourism, one is related to increasing the animal herd and the fifth is a no-strategy, maintaining status quo. This article analyses the reality of summer farms from a business perspective. The main questions to be answered are: How have summer farmers responded to the entrepreneurial turn in regional development policies? Which are their main business challenges and opportunities? Full article
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