The NOUTUR group (new perspectives on tourism and leisure) takes an experimental and dynamic approach to tourism and leisure as social phenomena with real impacts and trajectories, combining frontier theory with empirical research focused on social utility and impact. As its core, NOUTUR adopts a multidisciplinary conception of tourism and leisure as powerful agents of change. In empirical terms, the group employs methodological triangulation combining qualitative and quantitative approaches to challenge contemporary myths in key specific areas, at different scales of analysis. The group addresses recent societal concerns that tourism as a phenomenon has become consolidated in different spaces, and proposes options for improving its competitiveness and/or sustainability. This has shaped cutting edge research lines that analyse social transformations that tourism activity can cause or contribute to.
The group considers current and future perspectives on these transformations, in order that the field of inquiry is not just confined to tourism but also extends to surrounding contexts, as at present, tourism is at the heart of a multitude of transformations, thus justifying a new, more open, crosscutting and more inclusive analysis. The group channels the wider epistemological shift that is taking place in this field of research, which points towards a repositioning of tourism from the periphery to the core of the social sciences. While the study of tourism was previously concerned with exceptional and ephemeral events in people’s lives, today tourism is considered a fundamental dimension of everyday life. Our main research fields are:
- To analyse how tourism and leisure are positioned as transformative activities within and between tourism destinations. This involves analysing the overall impact of ICTs and sustainability-related elements upon tourism destination planning and management, the transformations associated with new collaborative forms of destination management and the associated impacts on governance models. The analysis gauges the extent to which collaborative dynamics are innovating in tourism and to what extent they collide or blend with traditional development models.
- To investigate organisational transformations directly or indirectly related to tourism and the consequences that this has for society, the economy or the environment. We focus on how ICTs and CSR measures are changing these organisations’ motivations, praxis, and structures and impacts (including results) and how organisations are engaging in a dialogue with stakeholders.
- To examine how consumption and related marketing activity are being transformed and what consequences this might have. The focus is on the impact of ICTs on tourism consumption: for example, the use of mobile devices among tourists and on the consumption of experiences, encompassing collaborative or shared phenomena.