Sustainable Tourism Management in the Galapagos Islands: A Scenario Analysis of Key Factors for Digital Adoption

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2023 Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET)

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This paper presents an empirical study that evaluates the digital transformation of the socio-ecological tourism ecosystem in the Galapagos Islands. The study addresses issues that impact the sustainable management of tourism, particularly in the post-pandemic era. The qualitative research methodology includes interviews with local operators, academic experts, and technology providers. A simulation method, based on cognitive maps, explores the effects of digital technologies on the community’s current goals for sustainable development, barriers, and needs. The study considers five perspectives: social, political, economic, environmental, and managerial. The research findings suggest that digital technologies can be used as a mechanism for socioeconomic inclusion, as supported by local experts. The study further examines the link between these emerging technologies and factors that can enhance the island’s resilience, while also identifying obstacles to be addressed. The methodology proposed in this study has the potential to be replicated in remote and secondary destinations across the Americas, providing a framework for technology assessment. Furthermore, it can serve as a tool for identifying community needs that can be transformed into innovative and smart solutions for fragile tourist locations.





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