Tourism is a central part of regional development strategies in many localities around Europe, not just in traditional coastal or mountain resorts but also in areas without a strong track record with regard to visitor economy. In a globalising world, destinations can no longer take their traditional visitors for granted and escape growing competitive pressures, because increasingly experienced, specialised and demanding travellers now have a vastly greater number of potential destinations to choose from. Both well-established and emerging tourist destinations are therefore under pressure to be innovative to increase their attractiveness in the globalising visitor economy. This book focuses on the role played by tourist destinations – conceived as multi-layered and functional governance structures – in stimulating or complicating the development of new tourist experiences. The complex relationship between firm-level and territorial development dynamics is, of course, by no means confined to tourism development, and the book will therefore be of a more general relevance for research into innovation and spatial development dynamics.
This book was published as a special issue of European Planning Studies.