Mobilities Transforming Destinations  

Urban and regional policies, digital regulatory mechanisms, and place prosperity and sustainability


A GRATET* international workshop supported by the POLITUR project (CSO2017-82156-R) with the collaboration of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), the Department of Tourism Innovation at Eurecat and the Regional Studies Association.

Rovira i Virgili University, Catalonia Vila-seca Campus, 25th-27stNovember2020

*Organised by the Research Group on Territorial Analysis and Tourism Studies (GRATET) of the Department of Geography, Faculty of Tourism and Geography, Rovira i Virgili University


Call for Papers

This GRATET International Workshop aims to discuss the ways in which tourism destinations can face transformations created by the multiple mobilities inherent in contemporary societies, as well as understanding how urban and regional policies and digital regulatory mechanisms can facilitate a path towards place prosperity and sustainability.

The event’s theme – Mobilities Transforming Destinations – has emerged from the POLITUR project according to which the diversification, intensification and transformation of the population mobility dynamics and, in particular, of tourism mobility and its impact on destinations, are leading to the gradual incorporation of spatial planning elements into destination planning, management and governance instruments. This new spatial dimension brings tourism management and governance into a new domain beyond traditional measures based on the attraction of visitors, promotion and valorisation of resources, products and experiences.

The workshop aims to discuss the new spatial strategies for managing tourism in destinations with a multi-scalar perspective, taking into account different geopolitical, economic and environmental contexts, and proposing as an information instrument the technological footprint of visitors going to and staying at the destination. Specifically, is the workshop will identify, understand and review the role of incorporating a renewed spatial dimension into the current tourism policies as a necessary and fundamental factor for improving destination prosperity and sustainability (environmental, economic and cultural). The meeting programme and contentare structured within four thematic areas:

* Analysis and representation of the complex relationships that are established between the multiple typologies of mobilities produced between and towards destinations with planning, urban design and social equity.

* Analysis of the role of networks of the geographical dimension of destinations into current tourism policies as a necessary factor for improving the place’s prosperity and sustainability (environmental, economic, social and cultural).

* Evaluation of and proposals forprescriptive systems, including digital fingerprints and other technological tools associated with tourism mobility to guide the implementation of regulatory mechanisms related to the tourist use of places.

* Identification and analysis of indicators and systems for evaluating the validity of the solutions discussed through collaborative research on mobilities. 

Within this context, the GRATET International Workshop welcomes paper presentations on the following topics:

  • Evolutionary approaches to tourism development and policy
  • Innovation, destination development and economic / spatial transformation processes
  • Destination governance, digital and technological tools and sustainable and responsible public policies
  • The role of moments in the evolution of mobilities and effects in destinations
  • Between overtourism and undertourism: from analysis to solutions
  • Regulatory approaches for tourism mobilities and practices
  • Tourism as social innovation and transformative strategies
  • The political economy of tourism, regional development and local regulations
  • The role of tourism in urban and regional planning for development
  • Politicising tourism mobilities and performances
  • Smart destinations: between efficiency and social justice
  • Reframing social impact in tourism research

Papers are also invited on any other aspect of tourism, planning, regulatory systems and mobilities.

Keynote invited presentations:

Professor Monica Degen, Brunel University London, England

Dr Monica Degen is a Reader in Cultural Sociology in the Political and Social Sciences Department at Brunel University London. Her research focuses on the politics of space with a particular interest in the ways sensory, temporal and emotional dimensions underpin urban culture and politics. Over the years she has been working on several international research projects with architects, local councils, museum curators and the general public to research the role of the senses in framing architectural practices, everyday life and culture in cities from Doha (Qatar) to Cologne, Barcelona and London. In 2016 she was awarded a British Academy Fellowship to research ‘Timescapes of Urban Change’. More recetntly she has been working on developing digital tools to capture the sense of place of cities and the ways in which urban environments are stratified by power relations, see & www.sensorycities.comShe has published her work extensive and is now working on a new book with Prof G.Rose (Oxford University) on digital cultures and urban experiences commissioned by Bloomsbury. Homepage:


Professor Yang Yang, Temple University, United States 

Dr Yang Yang is currently a tenured associate professor in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Temple University (EEUU). He’s a Ph.D. in Geography, Master of Statistics, and M.A in Economics from University of Florida. 

His research interests lie in tourism demand analysis, regional tourism growth, as well as hotel financial and real estate analysis. With a solid multi-disciplinary education background, he is able to thoroughly investigate research questions in the tourism and hospitality industry and offer unique insights and perspectives. He has published academic papers in top-tier tourism and hospitality journals. At the same time, he has accumulated abundant industrial experience from various consulting projects. He recently created a Covid19tourism index:


The workshop is open to academic researchers and practitioners at any career stage with an interest in tourism, planning, regulatory systems and mobilities. It is organised by GRATET (Research Group on Territorial Analysis and Tourism Studies) at the Faculty of Tourism and Geography of the Rovira i Virgili University, Catalonia and is partially supported by the POLITUR project (funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation). The NOUTUR Research Group of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), the Department of Tourism Innovation at Eurecat, the Regional Studies Association are also collaborators in the organization and dissemination of the workshop. We especially welcome the participation of early career scholars in this event.

The workshop will take place at the Vila-seca Campus of the Rovira i Virgili University in Catalonia beginning with the opening plenary late afternoon on Wednesday 25th November 2020, and ending after lunch on Friday 27st October 2020.

The workshop will be held in one of the major tourism regions on the Mediterranean coast – the Costa Daurada (60 minutes from Barcelona by train) – home to a number of major beach resorts (e.g. Salou, Cambrils, Vila-seca), historic cities (e.g. Tarragona, Reus, Tortosa), wine regions (e.g. Priorat, Montsant, Terra Alta, Tarragona, Penedès, Conca de Barberà), artistic heritage towns (linked to the lives of Picasso, Miró, Gaudí and Pau Casals) and natural parks (e.g. the Ebre River Delta, Montsant, Ports).

Abstracts (300 words maximum) should be submitted before10thJune2020

Acceptance abstracts 8th July 2020

Contact e-mail address:

The registration form will soon be available to download from the workshop website, along with details of how to pay the workshop fee, and tips for travel and accommodation.

Provisional Academic Programme 


Keynotes: Prof. Monica Degen (Brunel University London) and Prof. Yang Yang (Temple University)

Chairs: Prof. Salvador Anton Clavé (URV), Prof. Antonio Paolo Russo (URV) and Dr. Julie Wilson (UOC)

Additional information


The workshop will take place at in the URV Faculty of Tourism and Geography premises in the town of Vila-seca, which is easily reached by train or bus from Tarragona, Reus and Barcelona.

Accommodation: more details to follow, a special rate will become available at participating hotels.

Travel to the workshop venue

The closest airport to the Costa Daurada is REUS, which is served principally by low cost airlines. BARCELONA EL PRAT airport is approximately 1 hour away and is also a good option.

About GRATET – Research Group on Socio-spatial Analysis and Tourism Studies

The research group on socio-spatial analysis and tourism studies (Grup de Recerca d’Anàlisi Territorial i EstudisTurístics – GRATET) at the Department of Geography in the Faculty of Tourism and Geography at the Rovira i Virgili University ( is a consolidated research group supported by the Generalitat de Catalunya (the Catalan Government) under the contract number 2017 SGR 22. The group’s research activities are centred on the spatial analysis of social and economic development processes and impacts of tourism. It is led by Dr. Salvador Anton Clavé.

Local Organizing Committe (URV): Salvador Anton Clavé, Antonio Paolo Russo, Julie Wilson (UOC), Marta Nel.lo Andreu, Oscar Saladié, Aaron Gutiérrez, Joan Borràs (Eurecat), Jordi Blay, Cinta Sanz Ibáñez, M. Trinitat Rovira, Joan Olano, Antoni Domènech, Fiametta Brandajis, Maria Eugenia Altamirano, Jordi Andreu, Alba Viana, Alba Font.