Sustainable Urban Tourism lectors’ platform receives SIA subsidy

Unique cooperation contributes to the transition to regenerative urban tourism

The Sustainable Urban Tourism lecturer platform has been awarded a subsidy of 100,000 euros by the Taskforce for Applied Research SIA. The SIA funds research and facilitates collaboration between universities of applied sciences, industry and public bodies. Researchers from 12 Dutch knowledge institutions – including Hotelschool The Hague - come together on the lectors’ platform to examine ways to develop tourism that contributes to a sustainable urban living environment. They want to do this together with local and national and international partners on the basis of a joint research and innovation agenda.

Unique transdisciplinary collaboration

The lecturer platform for Sustainable Urban Tourism currently consists of 16 professors and researchers from 12 knowledge institutions*. The participants in the platform have different academic backgrounds, ranging from tourism, geography, business innovation, design, psychology, architecture, marketing and the creative industry. This diversity is essential to understand urban tourism, especially since tourism has become an increasingly integral part of modern cities.

"The lectors’ platform encourages better collaboration between researchers from Dutch colleges and universities. It is unique in the world and can help to find new solutions for urban tourism issues, both in the Netherlands and in other countries within and outside Europe."

Dr Ko Koens, professor of New Urban Tourism at Inholland University of Applied Sciences, initiator of the lecturer platform

Tourism Ecosystem Transitions

Transdisciplinary collaboration between the different lecturers enables an analysis of tourism as a social phenomenon, rather than as an economic sector. This perspective is innovative and essential in answering the question of how ambitious visions for the future of tourism can be translated into transitions in practice. The theme of sustainable urban tourism, and certainly also regenerative tourism, is in line with the broader social development surrounding urban tourism. Cities, national tourism organisations and the European Commission have come up with visions that outline a future in which the tourism ecosystem undergoes a transition so that it better contributes to broader inclusive growth and prosperity. The lectors’ platform wants to contribute to this transition by using joint research and design to emphasise the question of how.

"The tourism ecosystem is becoming increasingly complex and needs valuable perspectives for a wide range of stakeholders, not only tourists but also residents and entrepreneurs in particular,” says Karoline Wiegerink, professor of City Hospitality at Hotelschool The Hague

Joint research and innovation agenda

The aim of the platform is to collaborate with local and national partners, including municipalities, provinces, destination management organisations (DMOs), museums, hotels, the Netherlands Bureau for Tourism & Congresses (NBTC) and international partners, on the basis of a joint research and innovation agenda. Within this context, the platform wants to explore the use of tourism as a means of adding value to an urban area. To achieve social impact, Hotelschool The Hague is joining forces with the Center of Expertise Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality (CELTH), which focuses on increasing knowledge and making the broader leisure economy more sustainable.

"The knowledge and insights that are developed within the platform are essential in helping the hospitality sector have a more positive impact in cities. This helps achieve the goals of the broader Conscious Destination Agenda and Perspective Destination 2030 Netherlands."

Menno Stokman, director of CELTH

Expertise Network Sustainable Urban Tourism

To increase the effectiveness and ensure sustainable embedding of the platform, it is connected to the Expertise Network Sustainable Urban Tourism (ENSUT). This initiative from Hotelschool The Hague is being set up with Inholland and other professional field partners. Their aim is to use various domains and research areas such as safety, metropolitan and digital developments, systemic co-design and geography to make urban tourism more sustainable. The network component is essential for the lecturers' platform. Partners from the professional field and society at large – government and the non-governmental sector – are necessary to achieve the goals of the lector platform. The lector platform will exchange people and resources with ENSUT and ENSUT will take the lead in communicating with and involving external partners.

* Participating knowledge institutions: Inholland University of Applied Sciences, BUas, Hotelschool The Hague, NHL Stenden, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht University, Wageningen University, Erasmus University, Eindhoven University of Technology.