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Sustainable Tourism Development: Analysis and Evaluation of a Case Study

The Assignment

An on-going discussion has been witnessed the last few years among the industry, news, destinations, and the academia about over-tourism. Although the issue of limits to growth and large volumes of tourists in destination is not new, a revival can be noticed related to an overflow of tourists into popular attractions, anti-tourist movements and the banning of attractions or destinations or restrictions in numbers of visitors received. Notably, the pandemic has brought also undertourism in the scene, as well as aspects of localism and proxity and de-growth. Rather than only scratching the surface of the reality in destinations, you are asked to relate this to the debate and theoretical discussions of sustainable tourism using academic literature. The aim of this assignment is to relate anti-growth and de-growth debates with sustainability discussions from academic literature.

The assignment

During this assignment, you must demonstrate that you have an understanding of sustainable tourism development discourses and developmental theories and that you can use this understanding to critically analyse and evaluate real diverse developmental situations. 

The written part


The written part is a group work. Each group needs to provide a written paper, following all the formalities of academic writing (comprehensible structure with front page, sections with headings, paraphrasing, references etc) discussing the case study they have worked in an essay form. Try to illustrate how tourism development has taken place in your case study and what is its current state? Can you notice the pattern of any developmental theory? How can you discuss tourism development in the area in terms of sustainability? What interpretation of sustainable tourism can be detected there? Are there any issues that need to be addressed?
What about the local community and its involvement in the tourism offer? How is tourism development managed in the area? What about the pandemic and how it is expected to affect volumes of tourism in the after-covid era?
In your analysis and discussion think of tourism growth, how this has taken place and how is it managed. Think of impacts of tourism development on the environment, the economy and the society. Think of local community and its role in this development. Think of limits to growth. Think of theories you have studied in the literature and how they can be used to understand the case-study (destination evolution and tourist area life-cycle, limits to growth, carrying capacity, limits of acceptable change, ethics, sharing economy, host community attitudes towards tourism etc……….). How is the specific case-study/theoretical approach shaping our understanding of sustainability? Following this understanding, what are the emerging issues for destination managers?

Think of the characteristics of the specific destination and how it could relate –or not- to sustainable tourism development. Give also some consideration to the current situation of destinations and tourism and travel industry due to the pandemic. How is it going to be the “day after” for these destinations? Is it going back to “normal” and “business as usual”? What are the challenges for sustainability? 

Please note that the above are indicative questions and you should not limit your discussion into these The emphasis should be on understanding and discussing tourism development in the case study area in an informed, knowledgeable manner using the literature (both course literature and additional one specific for the case-study that you will retrieve yourself). Try to be critical and integrate multiple sources in discussing your topic. Balance non-academic with academic sources. Try to be insightful rather than only descriptive of the situation.

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