New SMARTDEST Publication: Smart tourism city governance: exploring the impact on stakeholder networks

By Josep Ivars-Baidal, Ana B. Casado-Díaz, Sandra Navarro-Ruiz, Marc Fuster-Uguet (2023).

Building on new trends in tourism and smart city governance, this study aims to examine the degree of interrelation between stakeholder networks involved in tourism governance and smart city development. A model describing the transition towards smart tourism city governance is proposed.

The proposed model is tested through a multiple case study of seven European cities. This choice of sample makes the study highly representative. Data collection is based on an exhaustive search and analysis of available data on smart city initiatives, destination management organisations and tourism plans. Social network analysis using Gephi software is used to build stakeholder networks.

Analysis of the stakeholder networks that shape tourism governance and smart initiatives in several cities reveals a disconnection between the two types of networks. The results show limited progress towards the expected synergies of true smart tourism city governance.

Theoretically, the study contributes to the debate on new forms of governance for the complex evolution of urban tourism. In practice, the relationship between tourism governance and smart city initiatives needs to be redefined to achieve synergies that increase the inclusiveness and efficiency of urban tourism policies.

This study examines the under-researched topic of the interrelation between tourism governance and smart city initiatives. By comparing the networks of actors resulting from these two processes, it assesses the extent to which this interrelation helps the emergence of new governance models (smart tourism city governance).

The article is accessible at the following link.

New SMARTDEST publication: Smart city and smart destination planning: Examining instruments and perceived impacts in Spain

By Josep A. Ivars-Baidal, Marco A. Celdrán-Bernabeu, Francisco Femenia-Serra, José F. Perles-Ribes, J. Fernando Vera-Rebollo (2023).

Another paper published in the framework of SMARTDEST in collaboration with another project under development at the University of Alicante. It analyses the tourism planning derived from the adoption of the smart approach in tourism, urban and technology policies in Spain.

The impact of technology on tourist cities and destinations has led to the emergence of renewed management approaches that seek to adapt the planning processes to new challenges and opportunities derived from the smart scenario. The smart city and smart tourist destination approaches are aimed at improving efficiency in management, the quality of life of the residents and the tourist experiences. However, little is known about how these ideas are being translated into real policies and whether they are having a real impact. The objective of this paper is to understand how the smart approach is being deployed in the planning processes of Spanish tourist cities and destinations, and its implications in terms of the governance, sustainability and data-driven public management.
The planning instruments that guide the smart strategies of different Spanish cities are identified and analysed. This is complemented with a questionnaire administered among managers of the smart city and smart destination initiatives. The findings reveal the diversity of smart initiatives, their benefits and limitations. The results contribute to generating a necessary debate on the implications of the smart discourse for urban and tourism planning and enrich the international debate around this approach.

The article is accessible at the following link.