SIA grant for professor platform on Sustainable Urban Tourism

SIA grant for professor platform on Sustainable Urban Tourism

03/24/2023 - 11:17

Unique partnership contributes to transition to regenerative urban tourism.​​​​​​​
The Sustainable Urban Tourism (Duurzaam Stedelijk Toerisme) professor platform has been awarded a 100,000 euro grant by Regieorgaan SIA (Task Force for Applied Research SIA). The platform brings together researchers from 12 Dutch knowledge institutes, including Inholland University of Applied Sciences, which are working on the question of how to develop tourism that contributes to a sustainable urban living environment. They want to do this together with local, national and international partners on the basis of a joint research and innovation agenda.
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Unique transdisciplinary partnership 
The Sustainable Urban Tourism professor platform currently consists of 16 professors and researchers from 12 knowledge institutes*. The platform's participants come from diverse academic backgrounds ranging from tourism, geography, business innovation, design, psychology, architecture, marketing, to the creative industries. This diversity is essential for understanding urban tourism, especially as tourism has increasingly become an integral part of modern cities.

Ko Koens, initiator of the platform 
Ko Koens, professor of New Urban Tourism at Inholland University / Universities of Applied Sciences is the platform’s initiator. ‘The professor platform encourages better cooperation between researchers from Dutch universities of applied sciences and research universities. Such cooperation is unique in the world and this can help generate new solutions to urban tourism problems, both in the Netherlands and in other countries within and outside Europe.’

Transitions of tourism ecosystems
Transdisciplinary cooperation between different professorships makes it possible to analyse tourism as a social phenomenon, rather than as an economic sector. Such a perspective is innovative and essential for 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 regenerative tourism, is in line with the broader societal development around urban tourism.

Current visions from cities, national tourism organisations and the European Commission outline a future in which the tourism ecosystem undergoes a transition so that it contributes more to broader inclusive growth and prosperity. The professor platform aims to contribute to this transition by focusing on the ‘how’ question through collaborative research and design. ‘The tourism ecosystem is becoming increasingly complex and requires visible value creation for a wide field of stakeholders, not only tourists but especially also residents and entrepreneurs,’ said Karoline Wiegerink, professor of City Hospitality at Hotelschool The Hague.

Joint research and innovation agenda
The aim of the platform is to work with local and national partners including municipalities, provinces, Destination Management Organisations (DMOs), museums, hotels, the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) and international partners, based on a joint research and innovation agenda, to learn how to use tourism as a means of improving place and life. To achieve societal impact, forces will be joined through the Centre of Expertise in Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality (CELTH), which focuses on knowledge development and sustainability of the wider leisure economy.

Menno Stokman, director of CELTH, ‘The knowledge and insights developed by the platform are necessary to help the the hospitality domain make its impact in cities more positive. This is conducive to achieving the goals of the wider Agenda Bewuste Bestemmingen (Conscious Destinations Agenda) and Perspectief 2030 Bestemming Nederland (Perspective 2030 Destination Netherlands).’

Expertise Network on Sustainable Urban Tourism
To increase the platform's clout and ensure its sustained embedding, the professorship platform is linked to the Expertise Network on Sustainable Urban Tourism (ENSUT). This network in formation is an initiative of Inholland University / Universities of Applied Sciences and has the ambition, together with industry partners, to draw on various domains and research areas - such as safety, metropolitan and digital developments, systemic co-design and geography - to make urban tourism more sustainable. The networking component is essential for the professor platform.

Partners from the industry and wider society – both public and non-public sectors - are needed to achieve the goals of the professor platform. The professor platform will exchange people and resources with ENSUT and ENSUT will take the lead in communicating with and engaging external partners.

Participating knowledge institutes: Inholland University of Applied Sciences (lead institute), Breda University of Applied Sciences, 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 & Research, Erasmus University, Eindhoven University of Technology.