Dr. Antonio Paolo Russo

Principal researcher of the Research Group on Territorial Analysis and Tourism Studies (GRATET).

Department of Geography, Faculty of Tourism & Geography, Rovira i Virgili University.



ORCID: 0000-0001-8768-246X

Antonio Russo, known as Paolo (Venice, Italy, 1968), obtained his Ph.D. in Economics at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, as a Tinbergen Institute Laureate. Since 2006 he is tenured associate professor with the Department of Geography of the University Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain; his post is at the Faculty of Tourism and Geography, where he is Coordinator of the MA Programme in Management of Tourism Destinations. Previously (1997-2003) he had been working as Assistant Researcher at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam as Senior Researcher (2002-2006). In 2004 he moved to Spain, where he has been visiting fellow for two years at Autonomous University of Barcelona (Dept. Geography, School of Tourism), with a grant of the Catalan Government. In 2003-2006 he has also been Lecturer in Cultural Policy at IULM University in Milan, and he is currently lecturer at the International Masters “Cultural Projects for Development” of the ILO, in Turin and Barcelona. In 2010 he has been visiting researcher at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Dr Russo’s research has engaged with tourism development of historical cities, place marketing and policy, tourism in urban and regional development, and the management of cultural attractions. Currently he is interested in tourism mobilities and the transformations they produce in the physical, social and cultural environments of cities as well as rural environments; in digital technologies as catalysts of urban change; in social exclusion and citizen empowerment at tourist places; in local identities and their negotiation and hybridization under the forcefield of tourism; in planning solutions for resilient cities; and in the cultural affirmation of marginalised groups in world tourism cities.

Dr Russo has been PI in the ATTREG and TOWN projects (ESPON 2013 programme) as well as co-PI in the MOVETUR project, funded by the Spanish Ministry for Innovation, and serves a member of the URV research team involved in the INDECIS project (ERA4CS Topic B – Researching and Advancing Climate Service Development by Institutional Integration). He has been consultant to UNESCO, Latin American Development Bank, Council of Europe. He serves as member of the board and coordinator of research in ATLAS, the world’s most popular academic network in tourism and leisure education and research, and he coordinates its Special Interest Group ‘Space Place Mobilities in Tourism’.

Selected recent publications

  • Brandajs, F., and Russo, A.P. (2019). Whose is that Square? Cruise tourists’ mobilities and negotiation for public space in Barcelona. Applied mobilities. DOI: 10.1080/23800127.2019.1576257.

  • Crociata, A., Agovino, M., Russo, A.P. and Dominguez, A.Q. (2018). Creative Workforce and Economic Development in Precrisis Europe: Main Trends and Causality Relationships. International Regional Science Review, 41(4): 448-479. DOI: 10.1177/0160017615607054.
  • Russo, A.P. and Scarnato, A. (2017). “Barcelona in common”: a new urban regime for the 21st century tourist city? Journal of Urban Affairs, 40(4): 455-474. DOI: 10.1080/07352166.2017.1373023.

  • Den Hoed, W., and Russo, A.P. (2017). Professional travellers and tourist practices. Annals of Tourism Research 63: 60-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2016.12.012.

  • Russo, A.P. and Richards, G. (Eds) (2016). Reinventing the local in tourism. Channel View Publications, Clevedon. ISBN: 978-1-84541-568-6.

Selected recent conferences, keynotes, invited lectures and presentations

  • ATLAS annual conference 2018: “Destination dynamics”. Organisation of the special session Track 3 on ‘Mobility clashes at tourism destinations’ and presentation of the paper: ‘Who really ‘home-shares’ in Airbnb? Evidence from Barcelona and critical notes’ (with A. Quaglieri and A. Arias). Copenhagen, Denmark, 26-29 September 2018. [PRESENTATION OF PEER-REVIEWED PAPER]

  • ATLAS Latin-American 2nd congress “New challenges of tourism in heritage contexts”. Member of scientific committee and presentation of the paper ‘La movilización de los paisajes de la memoria histórica: turismo en dos sitios memoriales de la Guerra Civil Española en Cataluña’. Oaxaca, Mexico, 5-7 September 2018. [PRESENTATION OF PEER-REVIEWED PAPER]
  • International Symposium: ‘Innovative management of cultural tourism destinations’, co-organized by Yunnan University of Finance and Economics and University Rovira i Virgili. Direction of scientific program and keynote presentation ‘New trends and threats in cultural tourism development: culture as strategic asset’. Kunming, China, 17 July 2017. [INVITED KEYNOTE]

  • International conference ‘Sustainable tourism for development in the framework of the new urban agenda’, organized by Barcelona City Council. Participation to round table debate and keynote presentation ‘Organizational innovation for sustainability in urban tourism: innovation and applied intelligence’. Barcelona, 18 May 2017. [INVITED KEYNOTE]

  • ATLAS SIG Space, place mobilities 1st International Workshop: Presidency of organising and Scientific Committee and presentation of papers ‘Disrupting discourses. Barcelona’s shifting tourism politics in media coverage’ (with E. Soro) and ‘Exclusionary pedestrian behaviour? Evidence from space use analysis of cruise tourism in Barcelona’ (with F. Brandajs). Vila-seca, Spain, 17-18 October 2017. [PRESENTATION OF PEER-REVIEWED PAPER]

  • RGS/IBG annual congress 2017. Organisation of the Special Session ‘Geographies of cruise tourism: Navigating the field(s) of inquiry’, sponsored by the Geographies of Leisure and Tourism Research Group, with J.A. Lester. Presentation of the paper ‘The engagements of cruise tourism in Barcelona’ with F. Brandajs. London, UK, 29 August – 1 September 2017. [PRESENTATION OF PEER-REVIEWED PAPER]

  • ECM annual conference 2017. Academic colloquiums ‘Disruptions in Urban Tourism’. Presentation of the paper ‘Disrupting discourses. Barcelona’s shifting tourism politics in media coverage’ (with E. Soro). Dubrovnik, Croatia, 31 May – 2 June 2017. [PRESENTATION OF PEER-REVIEWED PAPER]

  • Symposium: ‘Art and the City: New Cultural Maps’, organised by Mediterranean University of Reggio C., School of Architecture. Invited lecture ‘Urban Identity Perception: Experiences in Europe’. Reggio Calabria, 27th and 28th October, 2016. [INVITED KEYNOTE]

  • IV World Planning School Congress: Global crisis, planning and challenges to spatial justice in the north and in the south. Presentation of the paper ‘Barcelona in Common: Reclaiming the Right to the Tourist City’ (with A. Scarnato). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 4-8 July 2016. [PRESENTATION OF PEER-REVIEWED PAPER]

  • XLI Spanish Regional Studies Association Conference (AECR): Innovation and Geographical Spillovers: new approaches and evidence. Presentation of the papers ‘Place attractiveness and local development processes. The case of Catalonia’ (with I. Smith) and ‘Creative workforce and economic development in pre-crisis Europe. Main trends and causality relationship’ (with A. Crociata). Reus, 18-20 November 2015. [PRESENTATION OF PEER-REVIEWED PAPER]

  • 54th Congress of the European Regional Science Association. Organization of the special session: “Small and Medium Sized Town in Europe: Performance, Role, Policy Challenges” (with C. Demazière and L. Servillo). Presentation of the papers: “Mapping Small and Medium Sized Town in Europe Classifications, Spatial Trends and Ontological Issues”; “Tourism without development? The logic and structure of the house swapping “marketplace” and its local effects”. St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, 26-29/9/2014. [PRESENTATION OF PEER-REVIEWED PAPER]

  • The Association of American Geographers (AAG) annual conference 2014. Presentation of the paper: “Home Exchanging. Reframing Geographies of Tourism” in session 3111 New Horizons in Tourism Mobilities. Tampa, FL April 8-12, 2014. [PRESENTATION OF PEER-REVIEWED PAPER]