Outdoor Solutions for the Seasonal Concentration of Tourism Demand in Northern Portugal: An Integrated Approach Based on the Gini Index

Outdoor Solutions for the Seasonal Concentration of Tourism Demand in Northern Portugal: An Integrated Approach Based on the Gini Index

Paula Odete Fernandes (UNIAG, Portugal & Polythecnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal), Alcina Maria Nunes (UNIAG, Portugal & Polythecnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal), Cláudia Miranda Veloso (GOVCOPP, ESTGA, University of Aveiro, Portugal), Eleonora Santos (Polythecnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal), Fernanda A. Ferreira (UNIAG, Portugal & Polythecnic Institute of Porto, Portugal) and Manuel José Serra Fonseca (UNIAG, Portugal & Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2224-0.ch019

Abstract

Measures that address the seasonality, one of the identified overtourism direct causes, allow making a critical reflection on the application of control policies and monitoring regional measures crucial on a sector with such importance at the regional development analysis. The measures should stimulate or reduce tourism demand during low or peak seasons, respectively, generating a better distribution of tourism flows and eliminating potential overtourism situations. Therefore, this chapter focuses on the development of a Gini Index to analyse the distribution of the seasonality in northern Portugal and through it control current public measures in practice and suggest the implementation of different and more effective policy measures. For instance, the ones that make a clear bet on outdoor tourism activities. It will be used in the Gini Index, by the tourists' market of origin measured by the overnight stays in hotel establishments. The results showed the high seasonal concentration of tourist flows.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

The discussion around the concept of overtourim is not recent. Overtourism, albeit a relative new term, deals with old problems (Capocchi, Vallone, Amaduzzi, & Pierotti, 2019) and gained a renewed importance due to the increasing concern expressed by academics, policy-makers, population and social media. Such concerns include the excessive number of tourists in a place at a given moment, that may generate conflicts between residents and tourists and crowding phenomena, loss of authenticity, reduction of residents’ quality of life and lower experience enjoyment by tourists (Dodds & Butler, 2019; Phi, 2019). According to Goodwin (2017) among the direct causes of overtourim is the seasonality. Indeed seasonality, related to the trend of tourism flows concentrated in a short period of the year, became one of the crucial challenge factors that the managers of the tourism sector have been facing. Its reduction and, ultimately, elimination, has not been easy to achieve by policy and decision-makers, whether at the public or private level since it presents an imbalance between demand and supply of a certain tourism destination.

Measures that address the seasonality allow making a critical reflection on the application of control policies and monitoring regional measures crucial on a sector with such importance at the regional development analysis. Such measures should stimulate tourism demand during low seasons or reduce tourism demand during peak seasons. In this regards, the current chapter focus on the development of a Gini Index to analyse the distribution of the seasonality in the North region of Portugal and through it control current public measures in practice and suggest the implementation of different and more effective policy measures like, for instance, outdoor events (which may include sports, culture and music). Such alternative tourism strategies have already been identified as strategies to manage seasonality and differentiate destination offers (Smeral, 2019). The Gini index, that is being viewed as a measure of the level of fairness of resources distribution among a group of individuals (namely to measure the level of inequality in distributions), will be applied in the present context as a measure of the dispersion of the data over the year among different regions in an innovative approach applied to the Portuguese tourism sector. With the specific application to the North region of Portugal, a region well known not only by the cultural patrimony and sea activities but also by its natural and well-preserved mountain landscapes, specific gastronomy and Winter cultural traditions, which offer multiple and different experiences all over the year, would be possible to recommend and suggest tourism activities related to outdoor tourism. Such unexplored branch of tourism might allow the Portuguese northern tourism destinations to benefit from a more uniform distribution of tourism demand over the year and optimise the existent resources causing minimal negative impacts associated with seasonal fluctuations in tourism demand and enhancing the positive impacts for the development of a region that suffers from problems as ageing, desertification, low levels of employment and regional income.

In order to reach the main objective of the study, it will be used the information of the tourism market of origin (Portugal market and the Top-5 foreign countries with the highest market share: Spain, France, United Kingdom, America and Germany), measured by the overnight stays in hotel establishments. This study allows obtaining the Gini Index for each tourism destination (8 regions), each segment share of overall tourism demand and the Gini relation of these segments with the overall tourism demand. To understand the tourism flows the analysis will be focused on the matrix of interregional tourism flows in the North region of Portugal and in the graphical techniques. The current and official data of the National Statistics of Portugal (INE) will be considered for all 8 regions that belong to the North region of Portugal, over the period 2014-2017 (the period for each could be found the most updated statistics according to the last NUT1 revision, in Portugal).

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset