Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Tourism and Leisure - Presentation



Dr. Antonio Russo   antonio.russo(ELIMINAR)@urv.cat
Dr Antonio Russo (president)   Dr Alejandro Pérez Laborda (secretary)
Dr Marta G. Nel·lo Andreu   Dr Salvador Anton Claver
Dr Antonio Moreno Ribas   Dr Maria Asunción Huertas Roig
Dr Ana Beatriz Hernández Lara    
Places available  12    

The main objective of the programme is to train students to become researchers and professionals who are able to provide new concepts, new tools of analysis and new and innovative solutions to academic organisations and tourist and leisure destinations and corporations. The aim is to meet the demands of an economic activity that, like few others, is exposed to fierce competition and has a key effect on the social and cultural sustainability of many regions and cities locally and worldwide.

The emergent nature of knowledge on tourism and leisure highlights the need to strengthen it as a field of research. This requirement is identified in the National Plan for Research and Innovation of Catalonia, which states that the area of "Consumption of emotions and experiences" is a crucial sector that must be strengthened through the inclusion of highly qualified R&D staff for the industrial fabric of Catalonia. Furthermore, the current draft of the Spanish Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation for the period 2013-2020 states that it is necessary to "promote research that can be used by the productive sector in the short and medium term" and that R&D initiatives should be identified and fostered in strategic areas such as tourism.

The doctoral degree in Tourism and Leisure provides advanced training and research that is strongly related to the need for excellence in economic, social and spatial research. It pays particular attention to the analysis of the spatial organisation of tourism, the competitiveness of destinations and tourist corporations, economic and environmental impacts of tourism in places where it is located, culture and creativity as unifying elements of new products, new digital technologies for generating value and managing processes, brand management and communication, and planning and management of complex attractions and facilities (ranging from theme parks to natural areas of interest to tourists). The programme also deals with the economics of historical and architectural heritage, the analysis of tourism and local and regional economic development, and the capacity and limitations of tourism for organising strategies for alleviating poverty and improving the quality of life of the societies in which it takes place.

This is an innovative proposal that meets the need for advanced academic analysis on tourism and leisure, a key sector of economic activity in contemporary societies at all levels. It also aims to foster change through universities so as to create a true knowledge economy based on research, offering new perspectives for tourism and leisure (and therefore new alternatives of action). The aim is to cross the frontiers between the social sciences and information and communications technology. The programme also forms part of a general trend of using research to generate economic value with a view to maintaining the competitiveness of strategic sectors and the quality of life of the population.

This is a highly interdisciplinary programme involving researchers from five departments of the URV (Geography, Economics, Business Management, Communication and Computer Engineering and Mathematics). As a result of the strong network of international relations developed by the research groups and R&D organisations of the CEICS tourism cluster, the programme enjoys the collaboration of lecturers from foreign universities of recognised excellence in the field of tourism. The programme also has a collaboration agreement with the University of Quintana Roo, Mexico, from which the doctoral programme can be studied.

Students who successfully complete the doctoral programme will be able to work in the following areas: