Sustainable Management of Tourism: Insights from Portugal


  • Fátima Mendonça Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Studies, Technological University of the Shannon: Athlone campus, Athlone, Ireland
  • Dr. Kelly Maguire Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Studies, Technological University of the Shannon: Athlone campus, Athlone, Ireland
  • Dr. Nuno Almeida CiTUR, ESTM, Polytechnic of Leiria, Peniche, Portugal



Tourism, Sustainable Tourism, Sustainable Tourism Management, New Normal, Portugal


The importance of achieving effective sustainability performance in destinations worldwide has long been renowned (Cohen, 2002; UNEP and UNWTO, 2005; Castellani and Sala, 2010; Franzoni, 2015; McLoughlin and Hanrahan, 2019). Destination policy makers and planners have been working towards a continual and ongoing transition towards the development of sustainable industries for the past three decades. This has subsequently been influenced through the development, provision and implementation of sustainable tourism plans, policies and strategies at International, European, National and local levels. Such plans and strategies are aimed at promoting balanced development that ensures “tourism takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, while at the same time addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities” (UNEP and UNWTO, 2005). However, sustainability is a transition and learning process (Miller and Twining-Ward, 2006) and managing tourism growth together with addressing the needs of the industry, society and the environment as a whole has become a challenge for policy makers and DMO’s alike. Nevertheless, it is incremental that destinations look to develop new ways of planning and seek to achieve new strategic positions to ensure the long-term sustainability, competitiveness and resilience of destinations moving into the future.

In Portugal, tourism growth has been exponential with tourist activity accounting for €18.4 billion in tourism revenue and responsible for employing over 416,000 people (Instituto Nacional de Estatística, 2020).Although, the industry has been impacted significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are positive signs that tourism numbers are beginning to increase once again and are expected to rise to pre-covid figures by the end of 2022, according to the European Commission (Costa, 2021). With this in mind, there is a fundamental need to make sustainability the “new normal” for destinations when planning for and managing tourism in both the short and longer term. Thus, for the purpose of this research, it is essential to understand the various impacts, both positive and negative, that can be generated by tourism activity to the economic, socio-cultural and environmental resource base in order to permit an examination into the current level of sustainable management of tourism in Portugal.

Author Biographies

Fátima Mendonça, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Studies, Technological University of the Shannon: Athlone campus, Athlone, Ireland

Fátima Mendonça is a doctoral candidate in Tourism Management at the Faculty of Business and Hospitality at Technological University of the Shannon: Athlone Campus, Ireland. Her PhD study focuses on the Sustainable Management of Tourism in Portugal. Her research interests include Sustainable Tourism, Tourism Impacts, Policies for Tourism and Sustainable Tourism Planning.

Dr. Kelly Maguire, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Studies, Technological University of the Shannon: Athlone campus, Athlone, Ireland

Dr Kelly Maguire is a Lecturer and Researcher in the area of Tourism Management and Events Management at the Technological University of the Shannon: Athlone Campus. She has previously held the position of Senior Lecturer in International Tourism Management and Events Management at Liverpool John Moore’s University. Her doctoral research study provided the first nationwide baseline study on Local Authority sustainable planning for event management in Ireland (2018). Her research interests include community engagement in drive tourism on the Wild Atlantic Way, sustainable planning for events, tourism planning, and Local Authority planning. She has worked with Local Authorities in planning large-scale outdoor public events in Ireland. She is an independent research consultant in technologies for tourism and travel apps and has acted as co-principal investigator on industry research funded by the National Tourism Development Authority of Ireland. Kelly undertakes conceptual and applied research across tourism and events contexts focusing on the sustainable planning and management of destinations and events and developing evidence informed approaches to planning for tourism and events industries. Kelly also supervises Masters and Doctoral Research Studies and at present is supervising three PhD projects. She has published in a range of journals and reviews articles for a number of established journal publications. She is also the co-editor of ‘A Research Agenda for Event Impacts’ (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022) and ‘Places, Practices and (soft) Power’ (Sage Journals, 2019).

Dr. Nuno Almeida, CiTUR, ESTM, Polytechnic of Leiria, Peniche, Portugal

Nuno Almeida, Ph.D. in Business Administration with specialization in Marketing and MSc in Economics and Industrial Strategy, both from the University of Coimbra. Professor in the Polytechnic of Leiria he’s Coordinator of the Master Degree in Marketing and Tourism Promotion. Guest professor in different international universities he’s a research focus on Marketing and Management with an emphasis on Tourism. Member of the Coordination Board of the CiTUR – Center for Tourism Research, Development and Innovation. Author of several scientific papers, chapters, and books he has various communications around new trends in Tourism Marketing. He has been the President of the Technical-Scientific Council of the School of Tourism and Maritime Technology of the Polytechnic of Leiria. 



2022-05-11 — Updated on 2022-05-13