The Delphi Technique Applied to Urban and Cultural Tourism Research in the Algarve

Alexandra Rodrigues


Urban tourism is a major economic and social activity and the cultural dimension of cities is one of the main factors that attract visitors. The present work results from a dissertation thesis that aimed to evaluate the existence of cultural tourism in the towns of Faro and Silves and proposed means of fostering such activities in the future. The "transversality" of knowledge linked to tourism and the dynamics it can create make tourism one of the most difficult activities to quantify and evaluate. The developed research can be translated into an integrating approach of the concept of cultural patrimony and urban tourism, domains that so far have stayed apart. The use of several research methods in a complementary way – group interviews, “Delphi” method and “case study” (three sided methods) -, has revealed to be a strong point of the followed methodology. On the other hand, as it will be shown later, the “Delphi” technique, although revealing some difficulties of application, and not being a decision instrument nor being often used in tourism, has been very useful for the treatment of qualitative information. So we will introduce the main methodologies used on our research and analyse the various methods available for tourism research. Some of the acquired results are also summarized and specified in the case studies, standing out the potential that the combination of several research methods has brought to finding out the answer to the proposed aims.


Urban Tourism, Cultural Tourism, Strategic Planning, Tourims Investigation, Triangulation of Methods, Qualitative Analysis, Tourism, Prospective Vision, Delphi Technique

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