Intelligent Tourist Destinations and Their Application to Public Policies: The Spanish Case

Intelligent Tourist Destinations and Their Application to Public Policies: The Spanish Case

Luis Galindo Pérez-de-Azpillaga (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain), Alfonso Fernández-Tabales (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain) and Concepción Foronda-Robles (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1989-9.ch021
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The chapter is divided into two differentiated parts. The first includes a brief technical review of the concepts of Territorial Intelligence and Intelligent Tourist Destination, situating them in the context of the new tourist destination planning paradigms. This part ends with a first approach to the Spanish case and the progress of its public tourism policies towards these concepts. The second part goes deeper into the Intelligent Tourist Destination model applied in Spain, driven by the public administration, paying special attention to its official standardisation process, and the indicators adopted to that end. Finally, the chapter ends with some brief conclusions.
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The concept of Territorial Intelligence (TI) is being increasingly used by scientists as the new 21st century progresses. Although TI has been subject to several definitions such as those coined by Dumas (2004) or Bertacchini (2912), possibly the most widely- disseminated and accepted is Jean-Jacques Girardot’s definition. A scientific coordinator of the ENTI (European Network for Territorial Intelligence), his definition states that TI is a means for researchers, actors and territorial communities to acquire a better knowledge (of the territory) to better control its development. The appropriation of technologies of information and communication and of information itself is an essential step for the actors to accede to a training process, which will allow them to act in a pertinent and efficient way. TI is particularly useful in helping local actors to plan, define, animate and evaluate the policies and the actions of sustainable territorial development (Girardot, 2000).

One of the basic principles of the new approach is not to consider the territory as an enterprise or a market, but essentially as a cooperation space (Masselot, 2008), where the generation and transmission of information and knowledge take on a key role (Bozzano, 2013). The territory is considered an organisational reality with learning capacity (Devillet & Breuer, 2008). This interrelation between the concepts of territory, society and knowledge can be summed up in the following expression: TI aspires to be the multidisciplinary science the object of which is the sustainable development of territories in the knowledge society and the subject the territorial community (Girardot, 2008).

The TI approach is perceived suitable to deal with the problems of tourist destinations, as its integrating nature (territorial, institutional, social, economic, technological, etc.) corresponds to the holistic approach that tourist destination planning, and management must adopt. This management of the destination cannot be limited to an economic, infrastructural, urbanistic or environmental type sectoral practice, but rather it must include all the aforementioned aspects of the real situation, insofar as the product enjoyed by the visitor will be the territory-destination as a whole. The long-term competitiveness of the destination will depend on the comprehensive quality of this whole, and not on that reached by any of its components.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Destination Management Entity (DME): Is the local territorial entity, local entity or uniprovincial autonomous community that governs and manages an Intelligent Tourist Destination (ITD) with sufficient responsibility and authority to establish, implement, maintain and improve the Management System (MS) of an ITD.

Tourist Destination: Singular territory receiver of tourist flows. It locates the tourist resources that generate the activity, the offer of lodging and complementary, as well as the infrastructures and equipment that make it possible, also having an image and marketing channels that make the destination recognizable and accessible by the demand.

Tourist Governance: Way of governing tourism characterized by the interrelation between public administrations, private agents and articulated civil society, in a context of interaction between different spatial and administrative scales. The concept of governance is based on the key idea of increasing the legitimacy and effectiveness of public management, by broadening and deepening citizen participation in decision-making, in order to achieve lasting economic, social and institutional development.

Smart Tourist Destination: A destination whose management involves a strong innovation component, based on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), as tools to obtain a competitive destination, the sustainable development of the territory, and the participation of the citizens involved.

Indicator: Data or set of data that help to objectively measure the evolution of a process or activity.

Destination Management System: Set of elements of a DME that interacts to establish policies, objectives and processes to achieve those objectives.

Territorial Intelligence: The multidisciplinary science the object of which is the sustainable development of territories in the knowledge society and the subject the territorial community ( Girardot, 2008 ).

Public Destination Management: Set of actions for public entities related to tourism that have the purpose of developing at the local scale. It includes both tourism policy measures and other policies that affect tourism (environment, culture, mobility, etc.); and responds to a broad approach, more typical of a general destination management than of the strict application of tourism planning instruments.

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