Journal Archives

What Is Geographics in Marketing?

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Within the context of tourism development in the countries of contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, this paper briefly discusses the challenges for industry and key issues for researchers within six broad topic areas. These are: climate change adaptation and mitigation; integration with sustainable development strategies; coping with globalization; differentiation/ uniqueness; innovation; and collaboration / partnership / networking. Practical cases are drawn from Western European experience to exemplify potential opportunities, and recent published research is identified to inform fruitful research directions. It is concluded that challenges and issues are similar across Europe, and that those relating to climate change adaptation and mitigation are, in the wider context, the most important to understand and address

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011

Transformation of tourist landscapes in mountain areas: Case studies from Slovakia

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After two decades of deregulated free market economy the post-socialist rural mountain areas are being unprecedently commodified. Landscapes of tourist consumption with specific behaviour patterns are produced and reproduced. The paper explores how landscapes are transformed due to massive investments into tourist infrastructure with questionable impacts on quality of life and environmental sustainability. Power relations and related production of space are analysed in three case studies in the selected mountain areas in Slovakia. First, the Oščadnica case study reflects on rural landscape rapidly transformed by massive ski resort development and deforestation. Second, the Tále golf course development case study describes commodification and gentrification processes in Central Slovakia. Third, the High Tatras case study explores how power structures push on the transformation of the oldest and most visited National Park in Slovakia.

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011

Factors influencing the tourism competitiveness of former socialist countries

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Tourism in the former socialist countries can be best characterised as a rollercoaster ride since the regime change around 1989-1990. After the changes they lost their appeal for the ‘Western’ tourists and also a large share of visitors from the socialist countries as it became possible to travel to countries beyond the ‘friendly’ countries. The social tourism schemes operating in these countries have been abandoned or changed. The EU accession has helped to revive tourism and roughly at the same time the introduction of low cost airlines opened new markets for the former socialist countries. The introduction of the Euro has impacted on the tourism of some of these countries as they have temporarily become cheaper or more expensive than other (neighbouring) countries. This paper will focus on the factors that have had an impact on the competitiveness of Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania.

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011

The ecotourism’s development in the Romanian Carpathians’ protected areas: Facts, figures and needs

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Landscape heritage of the Romanian Carpathians is emphasized through protection activities, but in the same time it represents an important pool of resources suitable to the numerous forms of tourism. Conservation is in line with sustainable tourism and its alternatives, ecotourism. The present study aimed on analyzes several features of the Carpathian protected heritage and how activities function through environmentally friendly tourism. Results showed a great diversity of understanding and implementation of ecotourism in the Carpathian Mountains, with numerous actions of organization, but also with a series of measures that are absolutely necessary for the proper functioning of this tourism alternative. The study provides several models to estimate some characteristics of ecotourism resources, which provide returns for consumer satisfaction as well as improve the management of protected areas.

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011

Romanian spa tourism: a communist paradigm in a post communist era

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Spa tourism is one of the oldest forms of tourism which continuously evolved in time as the leisure industry paradigm and the consumers’ behavior changed. Similar to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, spa tourism is an old phenomenon in Romania which expanded to the dimensions of a well defined tourism industry during the mass tourism period which also corresponded to the communism epoch. Although severely affected by the major political and socio-economic changes which occurred after the Revolution in 1989, this industry coexists with new emergent forms of tourism orienting, itself towards new dimensions embraced by the contemporary leisure consumerism (e.g. medical tourism, cosmetic treatments). Lying on considerable balneal and climate resources and displaying an important communist heritage both in physical terms (large and massive tourism structures) and in virtual and psychological terms (social supportive ticket granting system), Romanian spa tourism faces various challenges in the attempt to adapt in a new tourism era.

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011

The Curse of the Gold: Discourses Surrounding the Project of the Largest Pit-mine in Europe

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In 1996, a Canadian company started geological explorations in the Rosia Montana area in the Romanian Carpathians. Two years later it formed a joint-venture with a Romanian state company to exploit what is believed to be Europe´s largest gold reserves. However, as of June 2011 extraction has not started yet and it may never start due to the opposition of numerous NGO´s that have pointed out the environmental, social and economic unsustainability of this mining project. This situation is highly unusual for a country that is hungry for foreign investment especially since up until very recently the state had supported any project promising to revitalize its mining sector. This paper will investigate the changes in the discourses surrounding this mining project taking into consideration the effects of globalization and the effects of Romania´s EU membership after 2007.

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011

Communities Perceived Socio-economic Impacts of Oil Sands Extraction in Nigeria

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Nigeria is currently harmonising plans for the exploitation of oil sands in southern part of the country. The findings from a case study suggested that investment and subsequent production in oil sands could have positive outcomes, but could also affect the lives of people in the surrounding communities. The current approach which excludes the communities in the planning process may only lead to trepidation of the crisis which has bedevilled the oil producing region of the country. There is the need to have an all-inclusive involvement of the affected communities in decision making process from initial conception through to the various stages of the mining cycle.

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011

Assessing Geo-demographic Dysfunctionalities within the Urban-rural Interface. Case Study: The Cities of Botosani County

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The main objective of this study does not focus on analyzing exhaustively the urban – rural relations, but it is trying to emphasize both a theoretical interpretation and the applicability of the concept of rural-urban interface by pointing out the ways of determining the dysfunctionalities in the evolution and population structure of an administratively defined area. In order to point out these dysfunctionalities, analyses were performed at Botoşani county level, considering all the geodemographic indicators regarding the population dynamics, natural and migratory balance, and population structure. The study is based on data provided by population censuses and the statistical records of the basic territorial administrative units (communes and towns), for the period 1990‐2008. Out of these indicators only those significant for the characterization of the human potential of the urban-rural interface and for an assessment of the polarization capacity of the seven cities in the county were selected: the size of the territorial administrative unit in 2008, the population dynamics during 1990 and 2008, and the human potential standardized index. The results showed differences between the complexes(interfaces) urban-rural from the western part of the county (Botoșani, Dorohoi and Bucecea) and the Eastern one (Darabani, Săveni, Ștefănești and Flămânzi), which should promote the concept of treating the two areas (urban and rural) as a whole through the implementation of programs / projects of cooperation between local governments and various internal and external partners, the main objective being diminishing the differences (not only the demographic ones) between the two parts of the county.

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011

Bucharest: Analysis of an ‘old’ destination with a new tourism identity

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To be able to promote itself efficiently on the market, a destination, given the marketing perspective – has to be aware about the authentic and crucial elements of its own identity as being  the only way to transfer, virtually and materially, of what it has best – the social-cultural and artistic identity (which, from a tourist perspective, represents its perceived image, along with psychological and artistic image of the destination). Hence without a detailed knowledge of this aspect, the promotion leads to a presentation of a distorted image of the destination which, in time, can distort the socio-cultural identity of the inhabitants of that region. To build the image of a destination (a notoriously long and complex process), begins with the need to profoundly understand tourists’ complexity of expectations (both functional and psychological) and, on their basis, to use these as attributes of the destination in order to improve attractiveness. In Romania’s case such an aspect gains more importance due to the fact that, after the 1989, young generation, an important population segment, seem to register a continuous and dangerous process of “identity erosion”, which over time could result into disconnecting from the essence of the Romanian spirit, not being able to understand or even ignoring sense of belonging, sense of identity, heritage and “tourism heritage”.

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011

Paradigms of rural tourism in Serbia in the function of village revitalisation

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Rural regions in Serbia differ considerably in social, economic and demographic characteristics. Basic problems and trends almost all the rural regions share are migrations, poor diversification of economic activities, extensive agriculture, high level of unemployment, lack of employment possibilities, poor and underdeveloped infrastructure, low GDP per capita in comparison to the urban regions and unpolluted environment faced with potential threats . The subject of this paper is to point to the potentials of the rural tourism in Serbia with the aim of village revitalization, as well as its prevention from dying out. Also, the aim of the paper is to stress the fact that the rural tourism is a sustainable model of development and preservation of Serbian village and Serbian peasant from more aspects: economic, tourist, sociological, the spatial planning and ecological ones. Finally, the aim of the paper is to emphasize that it is possible to save village identity by its transformation into ethno village adopting the idea of European ethno villages. Rural tourism in Serbia must become `main` industry` and a generator of sleeping national economy. The main benefits belong to the rural households. Tourist agencies must be engaged in enabling a dialogue between their employees and local representatives. Clients must not only be observers but also critics in the spirit of trust and transparency. A full and true comprehension of the rural tourism role is realized through revealing habits of the host, traditional values rooted in the existing culture, establishment of relations amongst population at the local level. Serbia has favourable conditions for developing rural tourism. It has, in the first place, preserved nature, mild climate, clean air, unpolluted rivers and lakes, rich flora and fauna. At the moment, 11 regional centres (comprising 10-15 municipal offices) are engaged in collecting and spreading relevant information for respective target groups, as well as in strengthening of activities in the local communities. Serbia earns about 10 billion dinnars annually from the rural tourism or one-sixth of gross home product. With a better utilization of the potentials, the participation could be much higher. Rural tourism offers great opportunity for new work posts, but capacities should be used to a greater extent and the problem of seasonality should also be overcome. All the key aims of the rural development in Serbia must be defined by the strategy: development of sustainable and efficient agricultural sector, standard of living of the population which lives from agriculture, creation of social and economic conditions in the rural regions, all of it within the National strategy of the rural development of the Republic of Serbia.

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011