Urban Tourism Field Report 6
URBAN TOURISM FIELD REPORT
The Name of the Class
The Name of the School (University)
The City and State where it is located
Urban Tourism Field Report
Urban tourism has been given many definitions by different authorsdue to its complex nature. Urban tourism can however be defined asthe section of tourism that markets a range of products available totourists in a certain urban city or town. The industry includesdialectic integration between the tourist and the host community. Atourist engages in urban tourism to interact and experience the wayof life and culture of an urban area through festivals and otheractivities. This research study is aimed at looking into themodern history of urban tourism and to analyze the progress made bythe industry. The study will also look into the benefits anddisadvantages of urban tourism.
The study will be conducted by creating a literature review ofcredible academic journal articles and books. The literature reviewwill assist in gathering the current knowledge gathered about urbantourism. The review will also assist in pointing out the benefits anddisadvantages of urban tourism and the future of the industry if ithas one. The main aim of this research study is to gather relevantinformation on the subject of urban tourism and then analyze thisinformation in order to discover trends, possibilities and challengesfaced by that specific section of tourism. The study will also reviewa specific city in respect to the topic of urban tourism the citywill act as a case study for this research. The study is also aimedat providing recommendations for the urban tourism section of theindustry according to the information gathered. The study will beginby laying a background of the topic in discussion in the conceptualinformation section. The paper will then discuss the researchmethodology and justify the method chosen for this study. The paperwill then discuss the information gathered and interpreted it to gaina better understanding in order to make recommendations and anaccurate conclusion. The study will consider the city of Newcastle inthe United Kingdom as the case study area for this research paper.Newcastle is a great choice for a case study as a lot of informationabout the town has been collected and recorded making a study on thecity easier.
TheMajor aim of this study is to investigate urban tourism and discoverbest practices to improve the industry.
The study is aimed at creating a solid background in the field ofurban tourism. The study will also investigate the growth andpossibilities of urban tourism in the future and the best methods ofimplementing it. The research paper aims to investigate Newcastlecity as an urban tourism destination, the positives and negatives thecity has in respect to the tourism as well as the activities the citycan carry out to become a better urban tourism destination. Theinvestigation is also geared at isolating characteristics of a goodurban tourism destination.
Background/ Conceptual Information
This section of the research will review previously written crediblejournals and books relating urban tourism. The purpose of this is todevelop a solid background on the topic in review. This section willalso consist of the literature review which will cover an analysis ofacademic works in urban tourism.
The contemporary world has seen a sharp increase in the demand fortourism and more specifically urban tourism. This observation can bejustified by an increase in leisure time and disposable income. Urbantourism is a compound phrase and consists of several services offeredto a tourist in the urban setting. Some of these products andservices include sports arenas, sightseeing, shopping among manyothers (Smith, 2014 p.9). Urban tourism refers to the numeroustourist activities in which cities act as the main destinations andareas of interests for many. Though the term sounds as new when heardby listeners, this type of tourism is quite old and very complicated.This is because cities were the most destinations of many journeys inthe past even though they have become a popular phenomenon for thepast half of the century. This kind of tourism gained root after the90’s since it was greatly associated with the economic growth andtechnological advancement of these towns. The improvements in roads,railway and health facilities contributed to the expansion of urbantourism. This is because it was easier, cheaper, and for tourists totravel to cities hence urban tourism became popular after a shortperiod (Zhang et al. 2016, p.8).
The main pull towards urban tourism is the interaction with the hostculture. An interaction with a different culture adds to theexperience of tourism as the travelers have a firsthand chance ofseeing the local culture in action. Gaming entertainment tourism isone example of the urban tourism that has gained a large followingwithin a short period of time. Gaming entertainment tourism is anoutward and social type of tourism where visitors are alwaysinteracting with other members of the group in places such asshopping malls, casinos and other social entertainment places(Whitzman, 2016, p.17).
Thefollowing section of the paper will analyze successful urban tourismdestinations.
Globalizationand Urban Tourism
Urban cities and spaces are generally influenced more byglobalization as compared to other areas. City management andgovernment concentrate more on meeting the global standards andhaving a cosmopolitan outlook. In the contemporary world competitionamong cities to globalize is high and always increasing as citiesgrapple for the position of regional hub (Steinbrink et al. 2016,p.8)The contemporary culture is one that is globalized and can besimilarly experienced in Europe as it can be in Africa. Shoppingmalls and other shopping complexes have become more and more popularand this can be attributed to some extent to globalization. Shoppingmalls have become an urban tourist attraction as individuals areattracted to the globalized view of things and global trends.Shopping complexes offer more than just a platform to do shopping onbut also an atmosphere of modernization and globalization (Shi et al.2016, p. 12). Urban tourism attractions such as shopping centersoffer a modernized atmosphere even if placed in a rural resident.Shopping complexes are however more common in urban cities and act asan urban tourism destination. Urban shopping malls are vast andfilled with aesthetics and design projects. Shopping centersregularly depend on urban tourism (Chalmers et al. 2014 p.4). It isoften that one can purchase the item at different location but isattracted to the shopping mall because of its modern aesthetics andculture which is globally influenced. Another way to look at it isthat popular shopping malls across the world are usually developedand owned by very few giant multinationals. The corporate implementthe most successful design across the globe and create a kind ofstandard that further increases the effect of globalization. Thegiant multinationals also develop a corporate culture which is copiedacross all the branches and sub branches of the company. Tourists arein many cases attracted to a comfortable culture and environment thatthey can relate to and live in comfortably. With the globalization ofcultures and ideology the most globalized shopping malls anddestinations have the largest number of urban tourists (Xingzhu,2013, p.11).
Urban tourists also visit urban shopping malls to experience theauthentic culture of the local area. Although shopping malls could besuited for tourists they are usually set up to serve the localpopulous and hence encompass many traces of the local culture. Inshopping centers and complexes individuals are usually not pretendingor acting they are most probably on their normal routine buyingproducts and hence in their natural state and culture (Chang. andHuang, 2014, p. 22).
YouthA growing market for urban tourism
The youth and the younger generations are thetarget market of many marketing campaigns on urban tourism. Theyounger generations of the contemporary world travel and tour more ofthe world than the generations before. This can be attributed to anumber of factors such as cheaper and faster means of transport, amore globalized culture and simply the ability to do so. Urbantourism is especially appealing to the urban youth than any otherdivision of people. The urban youth is attracted to the more outwardculture (Sharpley, 2014, p.5). This isexperienced in casinos, shopping malls and many other urbandestinations where people interact and freely mingle. The experienceat an urban shopping mall in Europe will not differ much from that ofa shopping mall in the United States of America. While the oldergenerations tend to prefer a more inward facing lifestyle where theyinteract with family members in a quiet serene environment theyounger generations tend to prefer an outward facing lifestyle wherethey interact which people from different cultures and traditions ina free manner (Rasoolimanesh et al. 2016,p.11).The purchasing power and willingness of the youth to send has alsoseen an increase over the past decade. The youth areassociated with backpacker hotels and hostels due to their lowpricing and proximity to urban areas and destinations. For the urbanyouth the benefits that come with backpackers and hostels outweighconsiderations of security comfort and high quality amenities. Thegeneral length of stay for a youth traveler is longer byapproximately two days compared other regular tourists and travelers(Rahnemai, 2016 p.8).
SportsArenas as Urban Tourism Destinations
Following a common trend among cities across the United Kingdom,Newcastle city is actively targeting professional sports teams suchas Newcastle FC that plays in the English Premier League as an enginefor promoting the growth of visitors to the city (Driscoll, 2016p.12). To that end, in the last decade Newcastle city has built asports arena in the city vicinity for the football team, the cityintends to inaugurate more stadiums for diverse sports in future. Thecity is seriously considering the construction of another arena toattract a professional basketball team. On the debate regarding theeconomic impact of municipal professional sports stadiums for cities,this research paper asserts that sports arena are a great successespecially in the UK and more so soccer stadiums. The English PremierLeague which is England`s top tier soccer league attracts over amillion tourist annually and makes over a billion dollars in profitsshowing the clear potential for profits within the sports section ofurban tourism (Horner. and Swarbrooke, 2016 p.9).
NewcastleCity and Urban tourism
Newcastle city in the United Kingdom was an industrial powerhouse inthe 19th century and was dominated by iron and chemical makingindustries. These financial activities have however diminished due tolower demand and higher supply. Most industrial tasks have beenexported to cheaper production countries in Asia and others regionswith availability of cheap labor. The government has tried torevitalize the Newcastle economy through tourism and setting up thecity as an urban tourism destination. The local policy makers haverealized the potential of urban tourism over the past decade and areimplementing urban tourist destinations such as parks, shopping mallsand business conference centers. Some regions such as the NewcastleGates-head quayside area have received physical regeneration andrenovation by the Newcastle government. The quayside was previously arundown former commercial dockside but was renovated to become anarts and music hub where events and galleries are held. Theregeneration has led to a culture lead urban centered changed in bothperception of the city and in economic activities practiced. As theimage of the region changed to a more urban one, urban tourism hasseen an increase in the North Eastern regions of the United Kingdomincluding Newcastle (Jung et al. 2016 p.7).
Newcastle city has come to become a regional shopping center with thedevelopment of several shopping complexes such as the Eldon squareand the Momentum mall. The establishment of Newcastle as a regionalshopping has seen an increase in urban tourism especiallycharacterized by young urban tourists. The city has also done a greatdeal towards increasing business tourism which is a part of urbantourism. Business tourism in Newcastle city is mostly composed ofconventions and conference meetings. Research shows that over 40% ofbusiness tourists or travelers return to the same location for theirown vacation. The marketing of Newcastle as a business tourismdestination has elevated the city`s ranking as a tourist destination.Before 2002 Newcastle was not considered a top tourist destinationbut after the city implemented some regeneration projects the city in2005 was ranked no 6 in top tour destinations in the United Kingdom.According to the UK Conference Market Survey approximately 100million Euros are collected annually from conferences and meetings inthe North Eastern UK region. Newcastle city has managed to reinventitself from an old industrial city to an urban tourism destinationover the past decade. Residents of the region have also receivedbenefits from this transformation in form of job opportunities andease of doing business in the area (George and Booyens, 2014 p.7).
Culture regeneration has also played a significant part in thesetting up of Newcastle as an urban tourist destination. The city`spolicy makers made an agreement with the Gateshead shareholders toregenerate the culture to a more urban culture that would attractmore urban tourists. The agreement was based on a mutual benefit forboth parties involved from an increase in tourist numbers to theregion. The partnership was made in a manner so as to involveprivate, public partners and third party shareholders. The Newcastlecity leadership set up a leadership program to regenerate culture inthe region and the program has seen a significant amount of success.The program has reached out to many people from different culturesand ideology in the region which has seen an increase in the numberof urban tourist visitors in the region (Crane et al. 2016, p 21).
Regenerationof Grainger Town in Newcastle
In Newcastle city, urban redevelopment has greatly contributed to thegrowth and establishment of the urban tourism industry. Thisregeneration program was first established in 1997 with a goal ofensuring that the declining growth of the city was reversed togetherwith the existing European trend. The project could roughly cost atotal of $ 160m since it comprised the fund from the public and theones from the ministries of the government. This development wasmotivated by the fact that Grainger Town attracted tourists since theearly 1990’s (Gronau, 2016, p.10). This is because the area hadstabilized its economic structure though after a thorough research,it was discovered that the town had many symptoms of urban decay suchas decreasing population, poorly constructed buildings, and lowstandards of the public realm. Also, the Newcastle City Councildecided to establish a program that could ensure the safety of theproperties located in this city. The program had positive effects tothe growth of the city under the plan of urban development. This isbecause it reduced the cases of having dangerous buildings in thecity that could cause loss of human life and property in case theycollapse. This was made possible through utilizing the richarchitectural skills available in the Grainger town. Therefore, thistown played a major role towards reviving the economic growth ofNewcastle city (Maitland. and Newman, 2014, p.20).
Moreover, various consultants were entitled with the duty of carryingout an analysis about this area and to come with a regenerationstrategy for the Grainger Town. It was discovered that the area had acomplex urban system which allowed for the regeneration to be done ina ‘holistic’ manner to avoid tempering with the fine nature ofthe town. Therefore, it was unanimously agreed that the project wouldbe based on seven themes to ensure the success of the regeneration(Gandara, 2016 p.6). These themes include enterprise development,social housing and non-housing development, quality of theenvironment, employment opportunities, increasing inheritedinvestment and the incorporation of the social aspects of humanbeings. However, multiple challenges were encountered while carryingout this venture. One of the problems encountered is the poor view ofthe area in the eyes of many people. Moreover, the issue of owningproperty as a community was a setback to the investment process andtherefore, it hindered the process of regeneration. Despite thesechallenges, the implementers of these projects countered thesesetbacks through promotion and marketing. These efforts yieldedfruits since the perception of the area changed and investors beganincreasing their investment in Grainger Town (Cowan, 2016 p.18).
Therefore, the implementation of the project realized much success inits completion. For instance, a variety of products and servicescould be offered to the people hence catering for the needs on thetourist market. Some examples of the products offered by the urbantourism include sport areas and festivals, transportation, culturaltourism, and architecture which fit both domestic and internationaltourists. Besides the access of these products by the tourists, thereexists different forms of activities that have been concentrated inthis town. Some of the activities include leisure, sightseeing,visiting friends and families, trainings, business venues,participation in conferences and religious matters. However, thegrowth of tourism in the Grainger town is attributed to variousfactors which contributed largely to this transition. The majorcontributing factors include the level of transport, the number andthe diversity of the existing attractions, the quality and the sizeof the accommodation, and the effectiveness of the marketing andpromotional strategies put in place (Hall, 2013, p.13).
CityMarketing and Urban Tourism
A tactical and well thought out marketing strategy is significant tothe success of a destination as a tourist attraction. In thecontemporary world a great amount of this marketing is done onlineand through mass media (Chang and Huang, 2014 p.7). The region beingmarketed has to be appealing to the potential visitor as nowadays theadvertisements and marketing tactics are more likely to work if theycontain pictures and videos of the location. The modern tourist makesmost judgments based on the information provided to them from themedia and how the information was provided. It is not expected of anytourist to know all the tourist destinations in the world and the aimof the marketing campaign is to make the potential touristdestination known to as many individuals as possible (Airey et al.2015 p.9).
Primary research is a significant stage of anyresearch or study and includes the research that will hold the mainportion of the research paper. Primary research includes thegathering of data from the field or from questioners and surveys. Theresearcher or researchers are expected to carry out a whole newresearch from the start to end based on new data collected during theresearch process (Crane et al. 2014 p.11).Primary research has been described as fresh or new research since itdoes not depend on previously recorded information and is conductedso as to answer certain questions or provide solutions to problems.The most significant detail about primary investigation is that allthe data collected is aimed at the topic under investigation and istailor made for the study. Primary research provides the researcherthe latest information available as opposed to reviewing a previouslywritten works (Altinay et al., 2015, p.12).
Secondary research can be defined as theprocess of conducting a research on a certain topic but withoutcollecting new data from the field. The research method involves theutilization of previously collected data by other reputableresearchers and then analyzes this data as the current data(Liszewski, 2014 p. 10). Secondaryresearch is therefore the utilization of third party data.Credibility of secondary research depends on multiple factors such asthe accuracy of the initial research and its currency. Another factorthat determines the accuracy of secondary research is how well theresearcher interprets the available research data. The researcherwhile using this research method should take extra caution so as touse only credible sources as reference material otherwise his or herstudy will not end up being credible (Maitland and Newman,2014 p.5).
This research paper will make use of thesecondary research method since conducting a primary research wouldtake up too much time and would be expensive. The topic of urbantourism is also one that is well documented and credible researchmaterial is available to the author. The author of this study paperhas access to the internet, access to a well stocked library andaccess to professors and qualified academic professionals who canassist with the research.
QualitativeMethods of Research
Qualitative evaluation methods help inexploring specific facets of a research topic as they give voices andexperience to those participating in the given study. Qualitativemethods are known to provide concrete information that can be used byindividuals in improving the quality of their research. Qualitativemethods help in meeting the set needs and goals by a research party.Qualitative research is most suitable for evaluation of primaryresearch data into a statistical application or any other numericaldata analysis (Silverman, 2016 p.3).
Theresearch method mainly deals with the use of numerical data. Thequalitative method gives priority to the complexity and accuracy ofdata compared to the amount or quantity of data acquired. Qualitativemethod is suitable for numeric research situations such as findingthe amount of pesticide required for every acre of farm land(Eriksson and Kovalainen, 2015, p.7).
Many research topics are still in debate and different authors andacademic commentators hold different opinions on different topics.The technique in use by this research paper is the Delphi techniqueand is designed to face this particular problem faced by researchers.The technique is widely referred to as a consensus research tool. Thetechnique has been implemented in various fields of study to reach aconsensus such as tourism among others (Wang et al. 2012 p.15).
The technique is especially suitable for situations where thereexists more than one way of looking at the same issue. Divergentpoints of views are encouraged when using this technique as theresearch method (Grime and Wright, 2016 p.14). The technique isespecially efficient in appraisal studies where conflict amongstakeholders can become disruptive to the objective of the researchpaper. The differences can evolve and reach an interpersonal levelwhich eventually will derail the focal point of the research. In thetopic of tourism and more so urban tourism many authors have opposingviews and suggestions and this makes the Delphi techniqueparticularly appropriate for this study. The technique works byperforming research and analysis of all the different opinions fromall involved parties and authors the information is then compiled tocome up with the most suitable and sensible conclusion (Dalkey, 2015,p16).
Rationale for the use of a Delphi Study
In order for any research technique to be regarded as reputable,establishment of a solid base of facts has to be available. Theassortment of all necessary and useful information collected has tobe conducted in a strategic and reliable manner. The Delphi method inmany researchers view is particularly efficient at identifying aproblem in any sector and then merging the possible solutions intoone workable solution. The structure of the Delphi methodaccomplishes this process without the behavior of opposing decisionswhich usually impedes a harmonized opinion making in groupdiscussions. The Delphi method has a positive effect on research andresearchers as they get to interact with a vast variety of ideologyand in the process form a balanced view on the subject underinvestigation (Bosun and Modrak, 2014, p. 19).
The rational for implementing the method arises from the requirementto interact with multiple members and actors in the urban tourismindustry (McGivern, 2013, p3.).
From the data presented in the above research it is clear that urbantourism is still gaining traction and is the future of the tourismindustry. Countries concentrating on the tourism industry have toconsider urban tourism as a possible tool for advancing andincreasing the number of tourists that visit a particular region. Inthe case study of Newcastle as an urban tourist destination we sawthat the city was falling apart and losing its population to otherregions due to the decline in the industry sector of the economy.Newcastle was however able to reinvent itself as an urban tourismdestination through the dedicated efforts of the city management andother stakeholders. The regeneration of the city has seen it recoverfrom its economic depression to a now flourishing economy with avariety of jobs available in the urban tourism industry. Anotherobservation from the case of Newcastle city is that a change in thelocal culture has led to a substantial increase in the number ofvisitors showing that urban tourists are also interested ininteracting with the local population as part of the tourismexperience.
The research paper also holds that urban tourism does not just occurat a certain city or region but rather it is promoted and planned forin advance. For any region or city to experience the advantages ofurban tourism the local government must invest in urban structuresand partnerships with the private sector so as to increase the numberof urban tourist destinations. The local government must alsoconsider education of the local culture and perform programs toregenerate the urban culture. The local culture is vital in urbantourism as the perception the tourist has of the destination willdetermine whether he or she will visit the destination. Businesstourism has also been identified by the study as a strategicinvestment as over 40% of all business tourists go back to the samedestination for a relaxing vacation.
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