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Complex systems, tourism planning and self-organisation

The University of Brighton Complex Systems Knowledge Exchange

Carla Ricaurte

on 5 October 2012

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Transcript of Complex systems, tourism planning and self-organisation

Tourism destination
Extension: 3,669 Km2
Population: 240,000
Recently created province (2007)
3 councils
Visitors per year: unknown (estimated 3 million during high season Dec- April)
Employment: unknown (estimated 3,000 formal, informal and community-based employees and stakeholders in tourism) Complex systems and
tourism planning:
the study of self-organisation This research focuses on the study of the destination as a complex system formed by individuals and groups, and how these groups can lead to new forms of local governance while influencing/ initiating/ leading planning processes within the tourism system.

Planning is both procedural and substantive. Is not outside or alien to the system, but a dynamic part of it. Complexity theory could improve the understanding of planning as the interplay between social structure and individual agency; dynamics and structure; as well as the linear and non-linear efforts that are being made improve the future of tourism in the Santa Elena province, Ecuador. “We live in a complex, fragmented and changing world, but most of our institutions of government operate as if we could count on stability and predictability.”
(Innes and Booher, 2010: 9) Carla Ricaurte The tourism planning system: self-organisation, resilience and new forms of local governance Is this research focusing on the study of the destination as a system that needs planning, or on the study of the planning process as a system?

How are these social processes of self-organisation influencing or being influenced by formal tourism planning processes?

What can self-organisation processes in the Santa Elena province tell us about the usefulness of complexity theory to explain non-linear forms of planning? The study location The research questions The problem Since tourism decentralisation (2003) 11 strategic plans equal to 75 years of plan implementation (formal planning processes).

5 Provincial Tourism Directors from the Ministry of Tourism and 3 from the provincial government since 2007.

Public, private and community stakeholders are self-organising in groups in order to 'do something' about the overall tourism system.

These groups can be understood as both emerging social structures from the destination's tourism system and informal planning processes. Getz 1986 Laws 1997 Substantive Vs. procedural sistemic models to plan tourism The Santa Elena Province, Ecuador Planning process? Tourism system? Individual Dynamics (Self - organisation) (Emergent) Breadth and context
Structure of self-organisation
Social survey Formal and informal planning efforts
Structure and dynamics
Qualitative document analysis Supervisory Team:
Prof. Peter Burns, Dr. Marina Novelli, Prof. Phil Haynes Methodology Research problem Final
considerations Centre for Tourism Policy Studies (CENTOPS)
University of Brighton Layer 2: Planning system Layer 1: Whole tourism system Thank you! Reed 1997; Sautter 1999; Lew 2007;
Dredge, Jenkins and Whitford 2011 the plan the planned Vs Which one is the system? Ecuadorian Secretary for Planning and Development, 2011 Destinations as complex systems Scott et al., 2011: 207 What about
self-organisation? 'Managing a tourism destination means finding the way to direct a complex system under changing conditions, which calls for an adaptive approach, rather than a rigid, deterministic, authoritarian style' (Faulkner & Russell, 2003; Farrell & Twining-Ward, 2004; Baggio, 2006; Scott et. al, 2011) Planning system Tourism system Social Structure Embedded case study Layer 3: Individuals Deep understanding
Individual interests (agency)
Dynamics of self-organisation
Semi-structured interviews Structural
self-organisation Dynamic self-organisation How to integrate
all the layers? 2. Through sequential analysis:
Quan - Qual - Quan - Qual 1. Through the design of the instruments 3. Through a qualitative
final explanation How does a complex system work? Social structures
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