Tourism as a driver of regional development and collaboration
Tourism is still consistently viewed as being able to alleviate and rejuvenate regions that are facing economic and social difficulties. This includes the many rural and peripheral regions that have been, and remain, in decline. Tourism and its development are said to create regional synergy effects, generating economic, social and cultural benefits for destinations. The European Union, for example, has launched several programmes (including the European Regional development Fund and the European Social Fund) with the goal of stimulating growth and employment in peripheral areas. These programmes often support tourism development projects.
However, realizing these regional development impacts through tourism is often problematic because of the uneven distribution of impacts in space, among stakeholders, and between economic, ecological and socio-cultural domains. Moreover, the establishment of policy frameworks and a culture of collaboration between tourism and non-tourism actors is often required and, practically speaking, this is often easier said than done.
The aim of this conference is to better understand the role of tourism development practices in the development of regions, including rural, peripheral and urban areas.