Nautical Tourism: Research Perspectives, Politics, and Practices

Nautical Tourism: Research Perspectives, Politics, and Practices

Mafalda Patuleia (Instituto Superior de Gestão, Portugal & Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Portugal), João Vaz Estevâo (INP, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Portugal) and Mónica Morais de Brito (Department of Management, Polytechnic Institute of Beja, Portugal & CEGOT, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1522-8.ch001

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of the perspectives from previous research on nautical tourism and identifies relevant gaps that should be addressed in future studies. The chapter characterizes policies and practices related to nautical tourism in the European Union and Portugal, taking into account their framework in the context of maritime and coastal tourism, and also in the context of the Blue/Sea Economy. Such analysis seems particularly relevant given this sector's strong dynamism in job creation and wealth generation on any of these scales of analysis.
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Introduction

The overwhelming bulk of studies in the field of nautical tourism was produced by Croatian or, to a minor extent, Serbian authors and universities. However, when comparing the profusion of studies encompassing nautical tourism developed by Croatian and Serbian researchers and universities with those from elsewhere, it seems evident that the latter’s lack of interest is only apparent. Thus, for instance, the American academia abundantly approaches research issues within the sphere of nautical tourism, even if not referring to the expression “nautical” but to more specific ones, such as “cruise” (Park, Ok, & Chae, 2016), “water-based” (Jennings, 2007) or “river” (Prideaux, & Cooper, 2009) tourism.

Jovanovic, Dragin, Armenski, Pavic, Davidovic (2013) suggest a more holistic and comprehensive perspective to all these subtypes of tourism in which the hydric resources are central, defining nautical tourism as the navigation and stay of tourists in their vessels and in nautical ports for the purpose of relaxation and recreation. According to the authors, nautical tourism may include activities such as recreational boating, cruises, water sports as well as other types of water-based tourism such as water wildlife tourism or water history and interpretation (Jovanovic et al, 2013).

The main purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the perspectives which have been taken by previous research on nautical tourism, as well as to identify relevant gaps that should be addressed in future studies. Moreover, it also seeks to characterize the policies and practices related to nautical tourism in the European Union and Portugal, taking into account their framework in the context of maritime and coastal tourism, and also in the context of the Blue/Sea Economy. Such analysis seems particularly relevant given this sector’s strong dynamism in job creation and wealth generation on any of these scales of analysis.

The individualized analysis of nautical tourism proves to be a difficult undertaking in most situations, as the statistical information is presented in aggregate form. The same does not occur in relation to research, since there are numerous works developed focusing only on nautical tourism. In short, this approach to the subject presents two distinct perspectives: research focused exclusively on nautical tourism, policies and practices focused on nautical tourism, but as a by-product of coastal and maritime tourism and in its framework of the “Blue” or “Sea” Economy.

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The Main Perspectives Of Past Research On Nautical Tourism

Perhaps due the pivotal role played by nautical tourism in the Croatian and Serbian tourism industry, such as those located in the Adriatic Sea, most literature on this type of tourism tends to take a utilitarian approach by privileging the factors enabling its development. Thus, such studies usually encompass technical and infrastructural requisites for the initiation of nautical tourism within a given destination (Lukovic, 2013), its potential economic benefits (Favro, & Gržetić, 2008), the economic relevance of nautical tourism (Carrasco, 2002) or the planning methodologies which should be taken into account when developing nautical tourism destinations (Kovačić, Dundović, & Bošković, 2007).

Drawing from the Croatian experience regarding nautical tourism, particularly in the Adriatic Sea, Favro and Gržetić (2008) identified the main advantages as well as major positive and negative effects conveyed by this type of tourism. As advantages, the authors stressed the fact that nautical tourism is often responsible for the attraction of more demand market segments, thus optimizing tourism expenditure. Additionally, as suggested by Favro and Saganić (2006), besides the services directly related to a nautical experience, this type of tourism also fosters the initiation of a number of supporting businesses and foreign investments.

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