Ulrike Gretzel

From smart destinations to smart tourism regions

There is growing interest in developing smart tourism beyond individual smart destinations, but research and practice currently do not supply the necessary conceptualizations that could inform smart tourism development at a regional level. This paper argues that this is the case because of smart tourism’s roots in smart city ideas and literature. It discusses the main pillars of smart tourism and smart destinations and then illustrates how pervasive urban biases are in the smart development arena. The paper then highlights the many ways in which these are problematic for reaching regional smart tourism understandings and designing appropriate regional-level strategies. It calls for smart tourism regions to be defined beyond clusters of individual smart destinations and across all domains of smartness.

Keywords: smart tourism; smart destination; smart city; smart region; scalability; governance

Check other articles from the issue ’Tourism Competitiveness in the Digital Economy' or from other issues.