1.60 - The Tourist Activity in the Urbanization Process of Mozambican Cities

Project Description

PhD Program on Spatial Planning (2022)

This thesis aims to develop a system of indicators that can help to measure the level of sustainability of tourism activity in the urbanization processes of Mozambican cities, using the cities of Inhambane and Xai-Xai as a case study. As secondary objectives, it was necessary to diagnose the current tourist activity from the survey of urban characteristics; analyse in a more specific way, the tourism urbanization phase; identify indicators that can integrate a multi-criteria analysis for sustainable tourism development interventions and propose a model to assess the tourism sustainability of cities, based on selected indicators, as a tool (instrument or method) to support the local/regional decision-making process.The relevance of the investigation is since tourism urbanization is a relatively recent concept in urban theory and tourism studies, while there are few empirical and application works carried out on this theory. As a result, there is a theoretical-methodological gap with a lack of analytical models that can be applied universally and therefore aimed at considering the local specificities of urban space and tourist activity. In other words, considering how urbanization related to tourist activity represents a significant part of these spaces. These difficulties are particularly visible in the global south countries (such as Mozambique), where considerable areas of cities where tourism is one of the main economic activities have not yet been considered in the context of tourism urbanization. The thesis proposes a model that is a reference for Mozambican cities, as a sustainable development strategy given the less sustainable action of tourism urbanization and that can help companies, those responsible for public policies and government authorities, to take more solid decisions in the process of territorial development with the integration of tourism. By applying two case studies and comparative analysis, further optimization of this methodological proposal is expected, called the Tourism Activity Sustainability Indicator System (TASIS). Since an integral part of the methodology is the integration of local characteristics, it is expected that this method may have applicability in other places, namely in the global south. According to the degree of importance, ease of measurement, and applicability to the Mozambican urban context, the structure of TASIS comprises 62 fundamental indicators, distributed in 34 themes and four dimensions, with the following distribution: environmental dimension (21 indicators), sociocultural (16 indicators), economic (12 indicators) and governance (13 indicators). This suggests the need to develop a system of tourism sustainability indicators adapted to the local context, as an instrument to support the decision-making process in tourism planning and development. This process should be more based on sustainability perspectives (and on considering the possible negative impacts of tourism urbanization) and less based on urbanization models aimed at rapid growth and disconnected from the local reality, not forgetting the careful consideration of a weighted set of sustainability indicators.

Research Team

  • Pelágio Julião Maxlhaieie
  • Anabela Ribeiro (supervisor)

Financial Support

FCG - Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, sob a forma de bolsa de Doutoramento, para o período 2017/2021: Mab/Mc P- 144185 (MZ) 119/SBG/17.

Stage of Progress
  • Started in July 2018