New Views Combined With New Technologies in the Tourism Sector

New Views Combined With New Technologies in the Tourism Sector

Louis Delcart (European Academy of the Regions, Brussels, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/IJIDE.2020010104

Abstract

In today's economies, tourism is often used as a means to provide areas with few structural employment opportunities with the tools for economic development. This is especially when the areas in question are attractive because of their natural resources or because of their cultural and/or historical background. To get the best results from the tourism efforts in a city or region, all parties involved must work together, managed by the local government. The task is to make choices in which tourist category the city or region wishes to differentiate itself from the others. If a regional or local government coordinates initiatives with determination and competence, a complete region can enjoy a much higher added value, which by far exceeds the tourist aspect. The regional governments should keep the larger picture of regional development in perspective.
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Introduction

In no country economic opportunities are evenly spread over the whole territory. The reasons for this are multiple: geographical, historical and demographic. There is also an increasingly broader gap between rural areas and urban areas. However, the right to an adequate standard of living is enshrined in an International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which is an output of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and every politician in a democracy should be committed to providing his fellow citizens with a dignified existence. In today's economies, tourism is often used as a means to provide areas with few structural employment opportunities with tools for economic development. Especially when the areas in question are attractive because of their natural resources or because of their cultural-historical background. The government finances and organizes then in the first place the disclosure of the area by building roads and infrastructure. The further economic development is often left to the private sector. And those entrepreneurs who respond to this are not always best equipped to offer high added value for a region. Indeed, they strive in the first place to provide their own family, relatives or clan with an income, without taking into account the wider regional ecosystem. As a result, the tourist offer is very fragmented and therefore not necessarily attractive for the more demanding visitor. I agree that tourism offers opportunities to social groups with less educational potential enabling them to build up a viable life thanks to hard work. But if a regional or local government coordinates initiatives with some competence, a complete region can enjoy a much higher added value, which by far exceeds the tourist aspect. This article is the result of a number of reflection moments held within the European Academy of Regions to set up a training program for regional tourism. It corroborates in its main conclusion with a study published on the blog of the World Bank: “Destinations and their stakeholders are responsible for ensuring that growth is well-managed; that benefits are maximized; and that any negative externalities are minimized. This requires a continuous process of planning and management that evolves and that can be measured over time.” (Perrottet & Benli, 2016).

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