Do smart tourism destinations really work? The case of Benidorm

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Title: Do smart tourism destinations really work? The case of Benidorm
Authors: Femenia-Serra, Francisco | Ivars-Baidal, Josep
Research Group/s: Planificación y Gestión Sostenible del Turismo
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Análisis Geográfico Regional y Geografía Física | Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Universitario de Investigaciones Turísticas
Keywords: Smart tourism destination | Smart solutions | DMO | Tourist experience | Tourist destination | Benidorm | Smart tourism
Knowledge Area: Análisis Geográfico Regional
Issue Date: 25-Dec-2018
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research. 2018. doi:10.1080/10941665.2018.1561478
Abstract: Smart Destinations (SDs) have gained momentum in tourism research, but despite the growing body of literature devoted to the topic, some critical dimensions continue to be under-researched. Real fulfilment of two of the main objectives of SDs, namely enhancing tourists’ experiences and improving destinations management, remains largely unknown. By taking as a relevant case the destination of Benidorm, its smart destination strategy and solutions, this paper investigates whether and how these smart destination efforts are actually transforming destination management, marketing processes and tourists’ experiences. Through a sequence of qualitative methods including (i) documentary and other secondary data analysis, (ii) in-depth interviews with DMO representatives and key informants and (iii) in-depth interviews with tourists visiting the destination, rich data was obtained, systematically analysed and triangulated. The findings pose critical lessons for destinations in their transition towards smartness, especially for policy-makers, and shed light on the effects of smart solutions on tourist experiences.
Sponsor: Research carried out within the project “Analysis of planning processes applied to smart cities and smart tourism destinations. Balance and methodological proposal for tourist spaces: Smart Tourism Planning” [CSO2017-82592-R] under the Spanish National R&D&I Plan and grant - BES-2015-073909-, funded by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/85508
ISSN: 1094-1665 (Print) | 1741-6507 (Online)
DOI: 10.1080/10941665.2018.1561478
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2018 Asia Pacific Tourism Association
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/10941665.2018.1561478
Appears in Collections:INV - PGST - Artículos de Revistas

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