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Planning in the tourism sector and visitor’s feedback: Case study with data from the Azores

Tourism planning is increasingly more a fundamental process for qualifying and increasing tourist destination competitiveness, especially when it is necessary to consider the new tourists needs and the global trend to comply with the principles of sustainable tourism. This study intends to analyze the improvements that, according to the visitors’ opinion, should be implemented in Ponta Delgada, the main hub of tourism activity in the Azores, contributing to the territorial organization and valorization of tourist experiences. The responses of 400 valid surveys gathered from tourists who visited this municipality were analyzed using several statistical methods, especially the Chi-square independence test and some algorithms of Ascendant Hierarchical Cluster Analysis. The main conclusions are related to the statistically significant association between the mean of transport used to travel to Ponta Delgada and the perceptions about some aspects that can be improved.

Tourism activities and companies in a sustainable adventure tourism destination: the Azores

The Azores is one of the most sustainable nature-based island destinations in the world. Local tourism activities companies are vital for adventure experiences. Using several editions of the official Tourism Activities Guide, their portfolios were analyzed. The analysis focuses on the companies’ products and type of activities, geographic coverage, and brands. The general profile indicates that they operate on only one island, have a small portfolio, and are prone to specialise in sea or land activities. “Snorkelling” and “motorboat rides” are the most commonly available sea activities, while “nature hikes and walks,” “van tours,” and “cultural tours” are the most widespread land activities. Explicit or indirect references to the Azores and adventure often appear in the companies’ brands, in line with international trends in the adventure tourism. Nevertheless, company profiles are changing due to the impact caused by a new air transport model.

Municipal Tourism Planning in an Island Territory: The Case of Ribeira Grande in the Azores

This paper discloses the strategic tourism planning process deployed in the Municipality of Ribeira Grande, which is an important municipality of the Azores, although with a poor tourism performance. Recognizing this gap, it was the first municipality in the Region to develop a strategic tour-ism development plan. The process included statistical analysis on the responses given by tourists to a questionnaire, using the Categorical Principal Component Analysis and the k-means method. The strategic plan had to be focused on the most differentiating local resources and attractions and had to fit into the global development strategy for the Azores. Local stakeholders and tourists were heard and selected nature tourism and local natural resources as the most important. Tourists pointed out the need for more adventure tourism packages and walking trails. All the inputs resulted in the definition of four strategic products.