Tourism Destinations and Resilience to Crises and Catastrophes
The october, 2017 Wildfires in Arganil, Oliveira do Hospital e Tábua
Keywords:Tourism in rural areas, Catastrophes, Wildfires, Resilience, Tourism Planning and Place Marketing
The October 2017 wildfires devastated all the Centre of Portugal region, having been registered severe socioeconomic impacts at a local and regional level, by compromising the economic activities’ normal functioning. This region’s touristic system, which in the last few years had been contributing for a new exploitation of the rural territories and for its socioeconomic regeneration, obviously did not escape the disruptions the wildfires had created. In the present investigation, which elaborated on Arganil, Oliveira do Hospital and Tábua’s territory, three of the most affected municipalities, it was intended to understand the registered impacts, as well as the actions taken afterwards with the aim of mitigating the wildfires’ impacts and rehabilitating the touristic system’s normal functioning and, thus, enhancing its resilience. For this purpose, the chosen methodology consisted in performing semi-structured interviews to three distinct groups (political, corporative and cultural), which allowed to conclude that there was, indeed, an implementation of several support measures to help in the recovery of the affected touristic enterprises, as well the development of communication strategies aiming the territory’s qualification and valorization after the catastrophe. However, no coordinated approach between the multiple stakeholders, addressing the interests of them all, was found, which represents one of the main requirements for a resilient touristic system.
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