Sines: Industrial Tourism Territory - Innovating for Tourism Sustainability
Industrial Tourism (IT) is a by-product of Cultural Tourism, and although it is a niche product it can contribute to attenuate seasonality, contributing to the tourist sustainability of the territories. Simultaneously, IT
can contribute to the competitiveness of the territories through their diversification and differentiation they
are able to offer. A benchmarking exercise on a global scale permits to identify good practices that demonstrate the positioning of this product within the sector of IT and that give operational and scientific credibility to the case study, the project “Sines - Sustainable Industrial Tourism” (SSIT), which operationalizes the IT concept in one of the most dynamic industrial and economic municipalities in the country. With one of the most important deep-water ports in Europe, refineries, one thermal power plant, highly specialized industries, it also benefits from a natural setting of rare beauty, with its beautiful beaches integrated in a Natural Park. IT come up itself as a complementary product to the main touristic product of this territory, the “Sun & Sea”, maximizing the existing structures, making compatible two apparently antagonistic activities - Tourism and Industry - and taking advantage of the growing demand for different experiences for leisure in search of more knowledge and feedback from the general public, while contributing to blurring seasonality, one of the main threats to sustainability. This work aims to theoretically contextualize IT within the framework of a sustainable tourism development model and presents the project “Sines - Sustainable Industrial Tourism” in a diachronic logic, describing the process and presenting the results achieved from its beginning.
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