Tourism context of the conference locations
Many tourist destinations in Europe are currently experiencing a new tourist economic bubble. The two conference locations are good examples of this situation. On the one hand, Barcelona is experiencing social conflicts due to overtourism, and public policies are being enacted in order to contain the growth of tourist offers, or even to actively promote tourism degrowth. On the other hand, Maó (Menorca) is also a good example, within the context of the Balearic Islands, where a balanced and sustainable tourism development model is being implemented, oriented towards a steady state. Menorca’s government efforts towards a more sustainable tourist development model is related to the fact that the whole island was designated as Biosphere Reserve of the UNESCO programme in 1993.
Contemporary globalization is characterized by territorial polarization: between urban and rural spaces, between coastal and inland areas, or as a result of spatial segregation by reason of social class, ethnicity or gender, among others. The diversity of problems experienced in tourism destinations results in different diagnostic and alternative proposals. On the one hand, for example, overtourism is denounced in saturated tourist cities with proposals of degrowth and growth containment to make it more sustainable. On the other hand, in the interior and rural areas, or in impoverished countries, tourism is still considered as a resilient alternative for development or subsistence.