Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Guidelines for destination management based on carryng capacity and tourism flows models

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.02.02  Social sciences  Economics  Business sciences 

Code Science Field
S191  Social sciences  Market study 

Code Science Field
5.02  Social Sciences  Economics and Business 
tourism destination management, carrying capacity, tourism flows, visitors management, big data analysis
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (9)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  27510  PhD Mateja Breg Valjavec  Geography  Researcher  2018 - 2019  191 
2.  26020  PhD Ljubica Knežević Cvelbar  Economics  Head  2018 - 2019  316 
3.  30080  PhD Kir Kuščer  Economics  Researcher  2018 - 2019  142 
4.  06912  PhD Tanja Mihalič  Economics  Researcher  2018 - 2019  902 
5.  27631  PhD Dan Podjed  Ethnology  Researcher  2018 - 2019  604 
6.  29392  PhD Katarina Polajnar Horvat  Geography  Researcher  2018 - 2019  148 
7.  16050  PhD Aleš Smrekar  Geography  Researcher  2018 - 2019  397 
8.  32703  PhD Daniela Alexandra Teixeira da Costa Ribeiro  Geography  Researcher  2018 - 2019  85 
9.  21393  PhD Damjan Vavpotič  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2018 - 2019  210 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0584  University of Ljubljana, School of Economics and Business (SEB)  Ljubljana  1626922  41,644 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  61,857 
3.  1539  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Computer and Information Science  Ljubljana  1627023  15,170 
Proposed research project is answering to the need for ensuring sustainable development in tourism. Tourism has significant impact to problems of sustainability. Environmental program of United Nations recognizes that uncontrolled conventional development presents potential hazards for many natural areas around the world. Tourism causes enormous pressure on nature, affects soil erosion, increases pollution, emissions of dangerous substances into the sea, the loss of a natural habitat, and increases the risk of forest fire. This is supported by growing number of examples. Passenger ships in the Caribbean generate more than 70,000 tons of waste annually. The development of tourist infrastructure in Yosemite National Park in the US has caused such a terrible pollution of the environment that loss of protected species has occurred, and extreme smog enabled to see the Yosemite Valley from the plane. European destinations, such as Barcelona and Venice, have been facing protests from local population against further tourims development. The cruiser ship almost damaged the walls of the old town in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Closer to home, deputy manager of local toursm organostaion in Bled appealed to locals to postpone their daily trips due overcrowdings. So, there is a challenge to find effective ways for reducing environmental damage caused by tourism activity, both at global and local level. The purpose of this project is to understand and strengthen the carrying capacity of tourist destinations in Slovenia with the aim of developing and testing a model for measuring carry capacity and visitor management and proposing guidelines for tourism destinations management.  The project will combine advanced models of destination management based on tourist flows with models of carrying capacity of tourist destinations. This is new approach. Several models of carrying capacity have been developed in the last six decades. Unfortunately, they offered a few practical solutions. Basically, such models are diagnostic. On contrary visitor flows are practical, since they identify repeatable movement of tourists in the geographical area. The basis of the flow is the monitoring of the behavior and movement of tourists, as well as the understanding of destinations through flows and not geographically rigorously defined areas. In this way, we can better understand behavior and habits of tourists. This allows us to predict, which tourist destinations will be visited by tourists in the sequence. In addition, the 'bottlenecks' of the visit can be determined on the basis of flows. These crisis points can then be assessed by directing visitations to less-visited locations. Routing is possible through better management or by upgrading the tourist product. As an example we can take an exorbitant visit to the Ljubljana Castle and insufficient visit to the BTC shopping center. The solution in this case could be improved transport infrastructure and the connection between the center of Ljubljana and BTC. The basis of tourism flows is therefore the development and upgrading of existing experiences. We are upgrading these based on behavioral data, which enable us to develop much better understanding than the cumulative data provided by current statistics. The implementation plan of the project is based on six content sets or work packages. In the first work package, we will perform literature review of the existing carrying capacity models and comparative analysis of foreign practices. This will enable understanding and classification of the concept of carrying capacity and understanding of its use, challenges and solutions in comparable destinations abroad. In the second work package, we will identify visitors flows in order to better understand visitation patterns and interconnection of Slovenian destinations based on the advanced data available on the tourist web 2.0. We will focus on 2.0 user generated content, particularly to user entrees on travel 2.0 sites,
Significance for science
The contribution of the project to the science is summarized in the following points: The outcome of the project will be a meta-analysis of existing carrying capacity models and a reflection on existing knowledge. We will integrate the knowledge in the field of advanced management of tourist destinations through tourist flows with the knowledge in the area of carrying capacity. This will be the first attempt in the literature of upgrading carrying capacity models with more practical approaches. A conceptual model combines different theoretical and methodological approaches and holistically approaches to the challenges of carrying capacity and visitor management at the destination level. The identification of tourist flows is based on an innovative methodological approach. The methodology will be of two-phases, based on the analysis of travel 2.0 data, and on the qualitative analysis with the participation of key stakeholders. The authors of this application - experts from FELU and FCIS - have already developed methodological tools for analyzing data from the tourist web 2.0 with the aim of identifying tourist flows (Kneževič Cvelbar, Mayr, & Vavpotič, 2017). This methodological approach is significantly more advanced than the primary field data collection, which is, above all, a costly method, and can only capture a fraction of the demand. The methodological approach will be upgraded with qualitative data collection - focus groups with key stakeholders. In this way, we will be able to verify the results, and with the participatory approach we will come to the material knowledge. Development of interdisciplinary knowledge - informatics, tourism, management and geography. In the project, we will integrate knowledge in the field of business and tourism with knowledge in the field of informatics - analysis of advanced data, and geography - studies of vulnerability and understanding the environmental and social pressure of tourism on the environment. An interdisciplinary approach will enable us more holistic understanding and solving of the problem.  The results of the project will be published in top journals in the field of tourism. Both the leader and the members of the project team have exceptional research results and regularly publish in top scientific journals. From this point of view, they are able to present the contribution of the project results to the development of science in a reasonably and professionally manner, thus ensuring the dissemination of the results of Slovenian science in the international arena. The project is set up to unequivocally offer the upgrade of existing knowledge and the original contribution to the development of the scientific field.
Significance for the country
The project aims to improve the management of tourist destinations in Slovenia and especially visitor management (as one of important functions of destination management) without reducing demand. This is also the goal of the tourism economy, as the reduction in demand directly affects the economy. For the last two years, we have witnessed an exceptional growth in Slovenian tourism. It is anticipated that this growth will continue in the next 3 to 5 years. The purpose of this project is to provide guidelines for infrastructure, managerial and marketing approaches that will allow for better management of demand. In particular, the importance of the project for the economy is reflected in/with: Identification and introduction of the tourist flow as practical and useful concept for all stakeholders, especially for the economy, which will better understand the behavior of tourists by it. The current tourist data is at an excessive level of aggregation in order to enable quality business decision making. It is therefore important that the economy is offered more concrete and on the behavior of tourist-based data; Increased added value of the tourist offer in Slovenia on the basis of personalized information of habits of tourists that can improve business decision-making; Promotion of Slovenia as a destination offering boutique and tailored 5-star experiences in accordance with Tourism Development Strategy 2017-2021; Building meaningful cooperation between stakeholders that are part of the tourist flow as they connect demand; Proposal for practical model for identifying the burden of destinations with tourists, which is not based on demand constraints; Clear guidelines for the infrastructure, management and marketing of the destination; Guidelines for the strategic sustainable development of tourism in Slovenia.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2018, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2018, final report
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