Tourists, residents and experts rethink the future of Mediterranean regions: A question of regional intelligence

Samora-Arvela, A., Ferreira, J., Panagopoulos, T., Vaz, E. (2019).


The Algarve region, south of Portugal, is a case study of Mediterranean tourism, and its recreational offer is essentially based on the promotion of sun and beach product and on the qualification of its coastal assets, establishing a framework of weak tourism differentiation which, conjugated with the climate change impacts, poses a threat to the resilience of a region with a socio-economy too much based on coastal tourism. Therefore, a heterogenization of tourism products is a win-win opportunity for strengthening regional resilience to present and future challenges. Hence, the need is to study, comparatively, the complementary preferences of tourists and residents in this region in the sense of revealing their willingness to diversify their recreational experience, not only in coastal spaces, but also of interiority. On the one hand, tourists show that they want to increase their recreational experience culturally, while on the other hand, the sea level rise may affect the most considered tourism resource, namely the beach, being that regional tourism sector depends on it. This chapter presents an investigation of the degree of preference of Algarve region’s tourists and residents for alternative activities, such as nature-based and culture-based, which promotion could attenuate the regional dependence on sun and beach tourism and, by that, increment regional resilience.

Keywords: Tourism Diversification; Climate change;Regional resilience; Sustainability.

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