Bienvenida

¡GRACIAS POR SU INTERÉS!

Bienvenido/a a este blog, que nace, con el año 2012, como vehículo para divulgar y compartir inquietudes e ideas, sobre todo en materia de turismo. Antes, he aquí el documento resultado de casi cinco años (2010 a 2014, 55 artículos) escribiendo cada mes en HEconomia, con análisis y propuestas para el turismo provincial: https://www.dropbox.com/s/oblyls2fi3tov7g/HEconomia_2010_2014_55_articulos.pdf?dl=0

Además, en las siguientes URLs encontrará más, mucho más, sobre mi actividad académica: http://www.uhu.es/alfonso_vargas/ - http://alfonsovargassanchez.wix.com/geidetur

Y lo más importante: ¿aún no conoce Huelva? Descúbrala en el siguiente enlace y en la presentación que sigue: http://www.turismohuelva.org - https://www.dropbox.com/s/8ada1ku91qtoknc/AunNoConocesHuelva.pps?dl=0

jueves, 1 de marzo de 2018

TOURISM DESTINATION MANAGEMENT: ITS GOVERNANCE REVISITED

Lots of research efforts have been deployed to understand how tourism destinations work and how to face the challenge of its management. As a dynamic phenomenon, at this point of the 21st century, in a truly global, digital and hyper-connected industry, the topic of tourism governance needs to be revisited by DMOs.

As a matter of fact, tourism destination can be observed as a business ecosystem, with a higher and higher level of complexity -mainly because of the increasing interactions among its constituents and the consequent increasing difficulty to anticipate the outcomes of individual actions-, which, however, smart technological developments are enabling us to analyse. As a result, a new lens is necessary, a lens built as the result of the integration of three originally isolated theoretical approaches: Business Ecosystem Theory, Complexity Theory and Smart Tourism, leading to the concept of Smart Tourism Business Ecosystem, displayed in next figure.

Figure: Conceptual model of the Smart Tourism Business Ecosystem, STBE
Source: Adapted from Perfetto, Vargas-Sánchez & Presenza, 2016.

The recent developments of smart tourism destinations, based on a cutting-edge technological infrastructure, are presented in chapter 10 of our textbook (“Technology Management in Tourism”).
Unavoidably in the 21st century, fast and amazing tech developments represent the most powerful source of change in the whole economy, and tourism is not an exception. In this line, Artificial intelligence is likely the most disruptive expression today in the most advanced travel and tourism environments. The greatest efforts are being made in areas such as machine learning, natural language processing, voice recognition and chatbots. Artificial Intelligence is playing a key role in them all.

Nevertheless, tech fascination has overshadowed other sources of tourism transformation. In my understanding, another significant vector of change will come from its social side, for several reasons:

-New generations (Millennials and Post-Millennials) see life and spend their leisure time differently from my generation (Baby Boomers). We need to pay more attention and make efforts to understand new generations’ expectations, habits and what they look for when touring. Psychologists and sociologists are called to make a very significant role in this endeavour, helping technology to read or anticipate what people want.

-The word “experience” is all around the tourism world: instead of products, what it is sold are experiences. But something else is needed: their authenticity. Explaining what makes people perceive an experience as authentic is hard, but its social dimension is likely its most significant one, which demands interaction with local people. Cultures, traditions, ways of living are embodied in local people, who represent an enormous source of personal growth for visitors. Paradoxically, they have been neglected in many destinations.

-Following my previous reasoning, local people (hosts and residents) should be empowered when developing tourism plans in destinations.  Tourism business is still under the control of two lobbies mainly (paladins of mass tourism and standardization): big tour operators and hotel chains. But this is changing (not without their resistance, of course), leading to a new scenario with different agents at the heart of tourism universe.

Destination Marketing (or Management) Organizations (DMOs) have to follow this transformation. If they don’t lead their own transformation, we will see how many of them will survive. Generalizing the future of DMOs is unrealistic, because of the variety of destinations and their different stages of development, but I can anticipate a transformation from traditional public-private-partnership (ppps or 3ps) to new forms of public-private-people partnership (pppps or 4Ps). Without the inclusion of the new P of People, DMOs will not be able to respond to the new reality of tourism, more rooted in meaningful, purposeful and customized travel experiences.