The impact of smart destination implementations in Malaga

Karakas E., ATAY L.

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, vol.14, no.5, pp.815-837, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/jhtt-09-2021-0263
  • Journal Name: Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ABI/INFORM, CAB Abstracts, Hospitality & Tourism Complete, Hospitality & Tourism Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.815-837
  • Keywords: Malaga, QoL, Quality of life, Smart applications, Smart tourism, Tourist buying behavior
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: This study assesses the impact of smart destination implementations in Malaga. Thus, this study aims to guide the transformation of destinations into smart destinations as well as the introduction of smart destination concept in the literature. Design/methodology/approach: Malaga was selected because it was one of the two winners of 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition as well as the winner in the accessibility category of the 2019. The research population lives in Malaga and has been professionally involved in smart destination implementations. Data were collected through a semi-structured interview of 14 smart-tourism experts in different career fields. Content analysis was applied to the findings. Findings: Malaga has become a successful smart destination while it has had a great success in improving its attractiveness and competitiveness due to the developments in the past 20 years. Now, its citizens and tourists are very satisfied and have a higher and more attractive quality of life. Moreover, Malaga has become a leading destination, especially in accessibility and mobility. Originality/value: Although smart destination is becoming popular topic day by day, almost all the studies are created to introduce the approach with secondary data. There are still only limited research studies conducted by primary data on a real smart destination case. Furthermore, Malaga is a quite good example to understand the importance of smart destination approach since the city has achieved to become an attractive and popular destination for both tourists and local residents.