Research seminar

The Destination Governance of “Localability”

Dr. Eva C. Erdmenger, from the University of Trier in Germany, will talk about her research project on inclusive urban destination governance, community resilience, and socially sustainable tourism development.
Date: , kl 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Campus Borlänge and online
Locale: Eva Ekeblad

This seminar will be held in English. 

Join seminar in Zoom

Presenter

Dr. Eva C. Erdmenger is currently working as a research associate at the University of Trier (Germany) where she also started her academic career in Applied Human Geography. After her Master’s study in Tourism Destination Development at Dalarna University (Sweden), she completed her PhD research project on inclusive urban destination governance, community resilience, and socially sustainable tourism development back at the University of Trier"

Title: The Destination Governance of “Localability”

Abstract

In the wake of rising anti-tourism protests in popular urban tourist destinations in Europe, it has become increasingly visible that local residents’ support for tourism is vital for a sustainable development. Despite this awareness, the traditional growth-driven neoliberal tourism agenda has overpowered attempts to enact participatory approaches to destination governance. This cumulative dissertation is an investigation into how urban residents can be included in the local destination governance of popular urban tourist destinations to proactively improve their resilience vis-à-vis increasing levels of tourism intensity. In pursuit of this aim, my research has drawn on several streams of thought, framed in different socio-geographical theories and concepts, and subsequently analyzes them. To do so, empirical data of residents’ perceptions in two case studies, namely Munich (Germany) and Copenhagen (Denmark), has been collected. Therefore, I have worked with a qualitative mixed method, incorporating focus groups (Barbour, 2017; Stewart, et al., 2007) and photo elicitation (Harper, 2002). To enhance rigor, validity, transparency and credibility, the empirical data has been analyzed with the computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) MAXQDA. Some of the findings I will present during the research seminar concerning an inclusive form of destination governance.

Considering that tourism affects multiple human needs of diverse urban dwellers, that must be built on a public-private-people partnership that will encompasses and align the needs, interests, and policies of the complex urban network beyond the tourism industry. However, the assumption that residents are willing to participate in destination governance processes, in the sense of a political, governing, or planning activity, proved to be a positivist misconstruction (Erdmenger, 2022). However, besides a lack of time, opportunities, awareness, prioritization, knowledge, and incentives, most residents did not lack interest in tourism in general and thus they did not exclude getting in (in)direct contact with like-minded tourists. Therefore, instead of opaque citizen participation, a multifaceted governance network must politically, psychologically, and socially empower (marginalized) residents in creative, low-threshold, yet powerful ways. This would cultivate the social capital of the community, which in turn would offer residents the motivation (incentives), ability (resources), and opportunity (power) to contribute to and benefit from local tourism development. This inclusive and empowering approach results in the destination governance of localability.

For more information, contact
Maria Thulemark
Senior Lecturer Human Geography
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