Aerial view of Tarragona (Spain)

Description of the ADAPTOUR project

The project

About the ADAPTOUR project.

This project contextualizes the evolution of tourism destinations within broader vectors of interpretation, including vulnerability, adaptability and resilience and more intense change dynamics such as the effects on the destinations of the current global economic transition and the intensified awareness of the climate emergency and its consequences (Gössling & Higham, 2020). The proposal also encompasses analysis of the processes derived from the growing decarbonisation of economic activity, widespread digitalization and the deepening of socio-spatial disparities and imbalances at different scales. Such dynamics, to which we can add the emergency situation and global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, unveil new additional vulnerabilities in destinations, necessitating new governance mechanisms to increase their resilience (Brouder, 2020; Gössling et al., 2020).

As complex places, destinations can enhance their resilience via co-evolutionary local human agency processes related to the adaptability to (1) the current global urban transition, (2) the transformation of mobility systems, (3) the effects of climate change and (4) emerging new social exclusion dynamics. This is understood within the context of the digitalisation of spatial destination management and intelligence tools, the renewal of strategic destination positioning and the design of new models of governance with enhanced social responsibility awareness. This situates the project within the core of debates on globalization effects and their limitations at different scales and the vulnerability of complex destinations facing global changes and new economic transition strategies. It also connects the project to current challenges identified by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

At the geographical level, the project analyses destinations located in the regions mainly in Europe and Latin America. Specifically, analyses will focus on regional and local areas of Spain, Italy, Colombia and Brazil, including regional areas such as Catalonia and Antioquia, as well as metropolitan cities such as Barcelona or Rio de Janeiro, historical cities like Venice and complex coastal destinations such as the coast of Tarragona. Particular micro-spaces of analytical interest will be identified on a micro-local scale. This multi geographic and multiscalar perspective is understood as an opportunity for contrasting the priorities, needs and opportunities of different models.


  • Brouder, P. (2020). Reset redux: possible evolutionary pathways towards the transformation of tourism in a COVID-19 world. Tourism Geographies, 22:3, 484-490.
  • Gössling, S. & Higham, J. (2020). The Low-Carbon Imperative: Destination Management under Urgent Climate Change. Journal of Travel Research. Doi: 10.1177/0047287520933679.
  • Gössling, S.; Scott; D. & Hall, C.M. (2020) Pandemics, tourism and global change: a rapid assessment of COVID19, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2020.1758708.