The model is based on the assumption that achieving sustainable tourism development requires the involvement of all stakeholders in tourism.
In this sense, not only must we consider the satisfaction of external customers –tourists- but also that of internal stakeholders -residents, local business and local government- as these agents are involved in tourism development in a given municipality.
This model has previously used in
“Indicadores de standards de calidad para valorar el grado de sostenibilidad en los destinos turísticos” (FEDER)
“Système de Protection de l’Environnement et du Patrimoine Culturel des Espaces Euro-méditerranéens avec une particulière valeur naturaliste et culturelle sous pression urbanistique et éconimique – SPACE” (INTERREG IIIB-MEDOC).
The PROECO model is based on a system of indicators for monitoring the perception of various stakeholders of a tourist destination –residents, tourists, local administration and experts on tourism- and it allows their respective strengths and weaknesses to be detected. It also highlights the gaps and shortcomings between destinations and suggests the reasons why they appear.
ProEco considers four stakeholders:
- Residents (legal population of the municipality);
- Local experts (mainly tourism entrepreneurs in hospitality/catering and also non-profit organisations linked to tourism);
- Local administration (local government and their different bodies or branches);
- Tourists –both national and international-. WTO (World Tourism Organisation) defines tourists as people “travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes.
The development phases
of the PROECO model
> Step 1
First, prior work was done in order to obtain indicators and measurement instruments of the main variables analysed. Most of these indicators reflect a positive impact on the town while others are markedly negative. These indicators have been obtained through a process of academic literature review, meetings with experts in the Tourism industry and meetings with Valencian local government bodies responsible for Tourism (see Questionnaires in Annex 1).
> Step 2
Research Methodology. Descriptive results
Data were obtained in each NewCimed municipality through personal interviews using the questionnaires provided by The University of Valencia for each of the four stakeholders.
The PROECO team also provided partners with Excel templates to be filled out and sent by each partner.
Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses were carried out with Excel, EQS 6.1 and SPSS v. 20. Descriptive data on means and standard deviations are provided.
> Step 3
Determine tourists’ destinations strong and weak points.
For each municipality, positive and negative impacts are detected on the basis of stakeholders’ perceptions. As a result of the analysis of means obtained for each variable on each stakeholder, strong and weak points for destinations are provided for all items.
> Step 4
Once the positive and negative impacts that are significantly perceived by the agents are identified, benchmarking methodology is performed. The position of a so-called “leader” destination would be the one of a “fictitious” market leader where all actors perceive all the positive impacts and none of the negative ones (this leader would get a score of 100 in the index benchmarking). This would also provide a “dummy leader” made up of higher evaluations for each of the fields of action and for each agent.
> Step 5
Best practices detection
After the benchmarking is performed, “benchlearning” follows in order to propose best practices to be shared with the NewCimed partners