Sustainable Tourism At Mass Tourist Destinations: Best Practice From Tourist Producers In Europe
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Within the tourism industry, a large focus has been made towards sustainable tourism since the 1990s. Sustainable tourism focuses on tourism from an economical, social and environmental aspect. There is a big consensus among politicians, tourist producers and researchers that the tourism industry should be sustainable. However, the question is how can this be reached? Previous research has not yet focused on the tourist producers’ perspective on sustainable tourism at different mass tourist destinations. The aim with this study was to examine how different tourist producers at different mass tourist destinations work with sustainable tourism as a strategic marketing tool in their tourism product development. The study was conducted with a qualitative approach using case studies. The data was collected during 2006–2009 from interviews with tourist producers and observations at the destinations. Four destinations were selected as cases in Europe: Rimini in Italy, Lloret de Mar and Granada in Spain and Gotland in Sweden. There was also a mix of different tourist producers at the destinations: hotels, restaurants, attractions and experiences. The result indicates that the destinations’ conditions have an impact on the tourist producers’ reasons for working with sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism is used by the tourist producers as a strategic marketing tool but in different ways depending on the destination. There is a variation among the tourist producers between the destinations and they focus mainly on one of the three aspects within sustainable tourism. The result indicates that the different producers have different strategic agendas when working with sustainable tourism. Keywords: sustainable tourism, marketing, case study, mass tourism, tourist producer, tourism product development.
sustainable tourism, marketing, case study, mass tourism, tourist producer, tourism product development