- Branding and tourism communication
This research lines looks at the ideologies, strategies, tactics and results of meaning-forming and imaging of tourist places, as actions carried out by institutions, private sector complexes or communities, including visitors; and at the means, channels, practices through which imaginaries, meanings, reputations of destinations are constructed and diffused as well as the response of specific markets. It thus deals with branding and communication as fundamental dimensions of place-making, destination management and planning. It also tackles the question of discordant and conflictive brands in relation to the expectation and ambitions of different agents, of the distance between utopias dystopias and reality and its consequences, and to questions and systems of representation and legitimation in place-making and place-imaging as political dimension of branding.
This line ties into the work of different research groups at URV to which Thesis Directors are affiliated, such as: the Research Group in Communication (ASTERISC); Social and Organizational Analysis (ASO); Economics and Management of the Tourist Sector (ECGESTUR); Human Factor, Organizations and Markets (FACTHUMA); Territorial Analysis and Tourism Studies (GRATET); Social Responsibility, Sustainability and Ethics (RESET); Markets and Financial Analysis (MAF). It also involves an international expert in outbound Chinese tourism travel, Prof. Arlt, director of (COTRI).
- Consumption, leisure and tourist experience
This research line looks at the experiences and practices of visitors and other actors as conformed through - and moulding - the economic, social and cultural landscape of destinations. Research focuses on the production of tourist and leisure services, at the structure and evolution of the related marketplaces, and at the value chains engaged in such production between the global and the local level; on the consumption behaviour of visitors and markets; on the nature of economic, social, bodily relations established by the tourist or specific visitor markets and groups, and the physical and social fabric of space; at the semiozation of space to convey certain meanings or accommodate certain practices; and the way in which value is created though the sharing of experience within groups of tourists or between them and other populations at destinations. Finally, it looks at how digital technologies and intelligent systems are integrated to - and influence - the process of experiencing destinations, enhancing the strategic capacity to attain higher value and more sustainable practices in the visitor economy.
This line ties into the work of different research groups at URV to which Thesis Directors are affiliated, such as: Research Group in Territorial Analysis and Tourism Studies (GRATET); Research Group in Leisure Markets and its Organizations (QUALOCIO); Social and Organizational Analysis (ASO); Economics and Management of the Tourist Sector (ECGESTUR); Intelligent Technologies for Advanced Knowledge Acquisition (ITAKA); Research Group in Anthropology Image. Memory. Gender (IMG). It also involves as external directors international scholars from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Westminster, London UK, the University of Northumbria, UK, the University of Quintana
Roo, México, Cà Foscari University of Venice, Italy, the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and the Southern Provincial University, Bahía Blanca, Argentina.
- Sustainable development and impacts of tourism
This research line is dedicated to the analysis and understanding of the economic, socioeconomic and environmental impacts of tourist activity at destinations and the different modalities, externalities and transformative processes through which tourism accrues and distributes wealth to the territories and their communities, or conversely detracts from sectors and groups in society. It examines, generally through analytical tools from regional and environmental economic, geostatistical analysis and value-chain analysis, aspects such as the intersectoral articulation of local tourist system, the economic geography of destination regions, the analysis of resource use, export and regional added value, the employment conditions and relations in the tourist sector, the economic flows driven by investment and profits in tourism, the seasonal and spatial imprint of the visitor economy, the transformations of the marketplace and the position of economic agents induced by the circular and collaborative economy in tourism, and the effects of economic regimes and regulation system. It also extends to questions of rights, social cohesion, and gender balance in the tourist industry and in the productive and consumption landscapes of tourism.
This line ties into the work of different research groups at URV to which Thesis Directors are affiliated, such as: Research Group in Territorial Analysis and Tourism Studies (GRATET); Quantitative Urban and Regional Economics (QURE); Research Group in Economic Organization and Decisions (GRODE); Research Group Industry and Territory (GRIT); Research Group in Economic Analysis and Health (GRAES); Economics and Management of the Tourist Sector (ECGESTUR). It also involves as external directors international scholars from the University of Surrey, UK, the University of Deusto, the University of Barcelona, and the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
- Mobility, destinations and tourism governance
This research line is situated at the frontier of new turns and developments in social sciences regarding tourism mobilities, politics and space. It studies broadly how the movements of people, objects, capital and ideas surrounding the tourism domain engages with place relationally, and transforms it. It has strong multidisciplinary character at the frontiers of human and cultural geography, sociology, anthropology, economics and planning. Research topics include the experience of people on the move, the examination of networks of actors and agents between different scales, the assemblages of - and negotiations of different mobilities in - space, the role and value of moorings and connection infrastructure, the design, use and social effects of transport systems and modes, the material and political conflicts for the control of destination spaces and the consequent exclusions, the governance structures called to policy destination spaces and their evolution, the intercultural encounters of host and guest communities in their generative spaces, the fluid nature of tourism in the 'age of hyper-mobilities' and the paradoxes of immobility and immobilisation as the result of political agency and exogenous events.
This line ties into the work of different research groups at URV to which Thesis Directors are affiliated, such as: the Research Group in Territorial Analysis and Tourism Studies (GRATET), and the DOW/URV Chair of Sustainable Development URV, but it also involves scholars from other universities as external directors such as the Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel, Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, France, the University of Quintana Roo, Mexico, the Open University of Catalonia, and the University of Barcelona.