Smart Urban Tourism Destinations at a Crossroads

Being “smart” and urban are no longer enough

Authored by: J. Andres Coca-Stefaniak , Gildo Seisdedos

Routledge Handbook of Tourism Cities

Print publication date:  August  2020
Online publication date:  August  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367199999
eBook ISBN: 9780429244605
Adobe ISBN:


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Concepts such as smart or smartness have evolved over time from rather narrow technological interpretations in the form of mobile devices to more nuanced applications involving geographical locations (e.g. smart cities, smart tourism destinations). As a result of this, smart places have arisen partly as a result of the widening impact of new and disruptive technologies on the spaces we live in, including cities, regions and countries (Hedlund, 2012; Zygiaris, 2013; Vanolo, 2014). Urban tourism destinations are not immune to these global trends, particularly as regards their strategic positioning (Buhalis and Amaranggana, 2014) to compete for a larger and/or higher value share of the tourism market, regardless of whether their priority is leisure or business. In line with this, the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has developed substantially over the last two decades to deliver new experiences for tourists and visitors, while supporting wider automatisation processes (Gretzel, 2011), which remain a common challenge for urban managers and tourism destination managers alike (Hughes and Moscardo, 2019). Key channels for ICTs today include social networks, big data analysis, artificial intelligence, the internet of things (Vicini et al., 2012), sensor equipment and other monitoring and data processing systems (Haubensak, 2011).

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