Tourism on the Azores and the Liberalization of the Air Space: An Analysis of the São Miguel-Based Stakeholders

Tourism on the Azores and the Liberalization of the Air Space: An Analysis of the São Miguel-Based Stakeholders

Janine Viktoria Zsembera (Universidade Aberta, Portugal) and Luísa Cagica Carvalho (Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, Portugal & CEFAGE, Universidade de Évora, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9936-4.ch005

Abstract

Until 2015, air transportation in the Autonomous Region of the Azores faced a strong situation of monopoly as only two airlines where operating on domestic routes between the mainland, Lisbon and Porto, and the archipelago. From a consumer's point of view, there were only two main differences regarding airfares, the so called “resident fare,” which was only for passengers that had their main living address on one of the nine islands and the “normal fare.” With other words, each and every passenger that lived on the Azores had access to special reduced rates. This positive point, on one side, had its negative aspect on the other side, as it affected national tourism, excluding all residents on the Portuguese mainland and/or Madeira from having access to these fares. With the liberalization of air space and the arrival of low cost airlines, such as Ryanair and EasyJet, the situation changed.
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Literature Review

Tourism Contributes to the Economy

Tourism: Looking for a Definition

According to Towner (1995) the definition of tourism has its origin on a small history that took place in the town of Oxfordshire in 1887. Year in which a girl with only an age of eleven years, joined by her brother, went on a journey, by feet, of approximately 12 kilometers in order to spend some weeks at their uncle’s house. This journey, nowadays, is considered to be insignificant, but back in those days it was the start of a new culture. Towner (1995) adds that the day the kids arrived at the parish, it was considered to be something rare and special as nobody was prepared to so called strangers to their parish. A simple walk through the town or a visit to the local church turned into something exacting and new.

According to World Tourism Organization (2015), tourism is considered to be a cultural, social and economic phenomenon, which generates a flow between people from different countries and places, outside from their normal environment, mainly due to leisure or work purposes. The WTO also mentions that each and every person that practices tourism, based on the reason to do so and the role practiced at the destination, defines themselves as tourists, hiker, resident or nonresident.

Towner (1995, p. 2) still gives a very limited vision of tourism in terms of geography when he mentions that it is seen as “dispersing geographically ever outwards from its origins in Britain and Western Europe, creating a series of 'pleasure peripheries “.

Throughout history, the reasons that made people leave their usual place of living developed and diversified, coming to a point, nowadays, in which almost everybody travels. In a certain way the authors can state that tourism, and its concept of travelling, is part of our everyday live and doing it, is almost normal. On the other hand, we can also define tourism as an activity that represents all individuals, that travel outside of their usual place to live and staying, at those places, for leisure and business reasons, for a period less than one year.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Airspace: Is the portion of the atmosphere controlled by a country above its territory.

Stakeholder: Are the people who have an interest in a company's or organization's affairs.

Tourism: The act and process of spending time away from home in pursuit of recreation, relaxation, and pleasure, while making use of the commercial provision of services.

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