Tour guides developing urban ecotourism destinations

Jane Widtfeldt Meged, Anne Cecilie Lasa-Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


While tour guides role as mediators and promoters of sustainable tourism (ST) has been investigated by Jacobsen and Robles (1992); Ballantyne & Hughes (2001); Hu & Wall (2012), Weiler & Black claim that “contribution of tour guiding to ST are rarely given more than lip service” (2015:72) because ST is “controlled by other stakeholder and largely beyond the influence of tour guides” (ibid). In fact Weiler and Black (2015) argue that pathways and extend have never been investigated on how interpretative guiding improves the economic viability and competitiveness of business, and social and cultural benefits to local communities and destinations. In this paper, we want to propose a research agenda where guides have a central role in cooperation with public and private key stakeholder in development of a scalable participatory model for sustainable urban ecotourism. Wang & Wang (2013) define urban ecotourism as an “activity system to satisfy needs of the locals and visitors for using local natural scenery, culture and folk customs, and also to maintain ecological balance of urban environment and establish environment-friendly concepts” (2013:1). Drawing on Iterative Participatory Design, where “the concept is defined as an experimental iterative process of mutual learning by designers and domain experts (users), who aim to change the users work, practices through the introduction of information systems” (Simonsen & Hertzum, 2010), we want to follow a pilot project in two recently established nature parks close to urban centers in Denmark. In order to elicit the hidden touristic potential of the two areas, the project traces and develops local identities and narratives on top of identified social, material, and ecological resources. Local/regional public and private actors, where guides will play a central role, will be brought together to develop a template for sustainable urban ecotourism, with focus on infrastructures, architectural facilities and products development. Tourist guides and entrepreneurs will create novel prototypes
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2016
EventTourism Naturally - Universitá di Sassari og Hotel Catalyuna , Alghero , Italy
Duration: 2 Oct 20165 Oct 2016


ConferenceTourism Naturally
LocationUniversitá di Sassari og Hotel Catalyuna
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