Measuring social tourism sustainability in Porto municipality: the views of residents
In the previous decade, tourism planning and destination management efforts have focused on sustainability, particularly in its environmental pillar. In the last years though (and especially in destinations with high growth rates and risks of over-tourism) the social dimension has gained importance, also as a consequence of increasing awareness about the need and relevance of governance for the sector.
The aim of this paper is thus to address the phenomenon of (over)tourism in the Porto area, and more recently, the zero tourism: how is tourism affecting residents´ life from their own perspective? ETIS -European toolkit for sustainable destination management was the indicator system used to develop this exercise, once it has already been adapted to the country's reality by the national tourism authority (Turismo de Portugal).
Results concerning residents´ and local authority representatives’ feelings about tourism and implications to the local community, both from an economic and cultural environment perspective, how these affect the quality of life in the historical centers, are described. The study exposes different perspectives both with regard to advantages and disadvantages, but overall there is evidence that tourist development is widely accepted, considering it does not penalize the well-being of the resident population. Finally, results are discussed considering existing literature focusing on tourism sustainability in Porto, from a pre-covid and post-covid perspective.
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