Tourism, Emigration, and Cooperation: A Strategy for Growth and Sustainable Development in a Community of Portuguese-Speaking Member States

Tourism, Emigration, and Cooperation: A Strategy for Growth and Sustainable Development in a Community of Portuguese-Speaking Member States

Rossana Andreia Santos
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2513-5.ch011
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This chapter argues that tourism activities, emigration, and cooperation projects can spur growth and sustainable development in rural areas, in general, helping to reduce the existing asymmetries of development, phenomenon that reaches Portugal and other Member States of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Member States (CPLP). The results of a study developed in Portugal evidence that the potential return of a segment of Portuguese emigrants, settled around the world, can contribute to growth and sustainable tourism development in rural areas of Portugal. In this scope, the existence of a Portuguese-speaking cultural heritage allied to the CPLP Strategic Tourism Cooperation Plan can also have a critical role in growth and sustainable development in CPLP.
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Tourism As A Strategy To Growth And Sustainable Development

In order to argue that tourism can contribute to growth and sustainable development of rural areas (or low density areas), should be highlighted that these areas have several problems related with economic decline, large increase in unemployment, emigration, desertification, adverse impacts of the restructuring of agriculture and the loss of cultural identity (see for example Cavaco, 2003; Labrianidis et al., 2003; Sharpley & Vass, 2006). Contextually, according with metadata of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and Portuguese Statistical Institute, rural areas are those with a population of 2000 inhabitants or less. Considering that it is not the purpose of this study to differentiate typologies from rural areas, but to identify all rural areas, it is argued in this study that economic growth is fundamental to the sustainable development of these territories. In this scope, several authors have argued that rural space is no longer confined only to agricultural activities and land use, but also extends to multisectoral activities (see for example Diniz, 1999; Ferrão 2000; Henriques, 2002; Figueiredo, 2003; Oliveira, 2005; Batista, 2006; Gonçalves, 2007). For this reason, and considering the geographic space under study, the potential of tourism to growth and sustainable development of rural areas is emphasized in this section.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Sustainable Development: Involves the articulation between the various dimensions of sustainability, including economic, environmental, sociocultural and institutional.

Tourism: The activities that people carry out during their travels and stays in places other than their own, for a period of time less than one consecutive year, for leisure, business and other purposes (World Travel and Tourism Organization).

Rural Area: Geographic area with 2000 inhabitants or less (Portuguese Official Statistical Institute).

Community of Portuguese Language Countries: An international organization and political association of Lusophone nations across four continents, where Portuguese is an official language.

Emigrantion: The act of leaving one's place of origin (the homeland) with the intention of settling in a foreign country.

Cooperation: A joint action between individuals or organizations for a purpose or common goal.

Return Migration: The movements of workers and relatives of the more developed countries or regions for the regions that provide labor from rural areas.

Growth: Increased economic capacity of a country or region.

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