The Tourism Research Group (GITUR) of IPL is located in ESTM, in Peniche. It first started in 2008 and has, since 2010, been assuming a strong dynamics in terms of research and scientific dissemination. Its dynamic entrepreneurship starts being acknowledged, both nationally and internationally. 
The Group works mainly in four major areas:
1) Maritime Tourism
2) Internationalization and scientific dissemination 
3) Monitoring the national and regional tourism activity
4) Tourism and creative industries

The ocean and coastal areas represent today, worldwide, a great opportunity for new economic activities that, considering the recent technological advances, are guiding their interest and action to the sea, forcing new ways to manage, defend and actively safeguarding national interests. 
Due to its maritime vocation, proved by its history and geographical location, Portugal is one of the world's countries with the greatest development potential concerning an ocean-based economy. The geostrategic position of the maritime space under national sovereignty or jurisdiction brings a group of opportunities for economic development that is important to take advantage of. Tourism is part of the group of sectors of economy with the greatest capacity to take advantage of this new development context associated to the Ocean.
Also bearing in mind the National Ocean Strategy, there are three strategic pillars that must be taken into consideration, particularly: (1) knowledge; (2) territorial planning; (3) promoting and actively defending national interests. Therefore, higher education and scientific research are at the heart of this strategy. 
The School of Tourism and Maritime Technology (ESTM), thanks to its privileged location, close to Cape Carvoeiro in Peniche, as well as its profile in terms of training and research areas (focusing on marine resources and tourism) can and should play a very important role in implementing the National Ocean Strategy. 
Being the largest school of Tourism in Portugal (about one thousand students in six degrees, three master's degrees and a research unit with more than fifty elements), it is but natural that ESTM assumes as its strategic plan to take an active leadership position in the field of Maritime Tourism, both in training and research.  
GITUR, in association with GIRM - Research Group on Marine Resources, also based in the School of Tourism and Maritime Technology, brings together a unique set of conditions to become, soon, a national benchmark in terms of R&D associated to the Ocean. 
Maritime Tourism (cruises, recreational boating and marinas, maritime tourism activities and water sports) is part of the priorities of GITUR, and many of the initiatives that comprise the Plan of Activities of GITUR for 2012, have as their object, the Maritime Tourism.
Finisterra Project
The project Land's Ends (Finisterra) is being developed in cooperation with the universities of Finnmark (Norway) and Santiago de Compostela (Spain). It aims to develop the tourism offer of the European areas of the Atlantic Coast, that, in common, share cables and headlands, with a heritage legacy of traditions and legends. It also seeks to contribute to the creation of a new economic centrality in these areas, through the enhancement of the endogenous cultural heritage tourism. In the European network of Land's End, Portugal has an especially important role, since it has the biggest number of Finisterra areas: Cabo Carvoeiro, Cabo da Roca, Cabo Espichel, Cabo de São Vicente and Promontório de Sagres.
 With this project, GITUR will carry out the following objectives:
 To evaluate the potential for tourism development of the Finisterra areas in Portugal;
 To identify the gastronomic features and potential of Finisterra areas;
 To collect the resources of cultural heritage in Finisterra areas;
 To identify the natural resources that can provide the basis for sustainable tourism in the Finisterra areas; 
 To develop strategies for the preservation and operation of tourist activities in the Finisterra areas;
The Land's Ends project is a type of general matrix with the possibility of engaging other projects that GITUR is currently developing and which are presented below:
Fish Tour 
Still awaiting approval by the Coastal Action Group (CAG) of the Oeste region, this project seeks to enhance the traditional arts of fishing as a resource to attract tourists.   

Scientific Tourism
Scientific tourism has taken its first steps in Portugal with the program Ciência Viva. In addition, the Lisbon Oceanarium and many other projects undertaken during EXPO 98 reveal that marine resources and its scientific exploration can become important tourist attractions. GITUR, in association with GIRM and dive businesses in the region of Oeste, aims to create an operational model to create an interpretation center of marine resources in a logic of scientific tourism.

Biosphere Reserve of Berlenga
The assignment of the status of UNESCO's Biosphere Reserve to the Berlenga Archipelago shows the high value of the natural heritage of the archipelago, but it also brings the challenge of solving problems of conservation and development, as well as the existence of specific and partaken operations, to address these constraints. The definition and application of sustainable development criteria for tourism use of Berlenga, and its future monitoring, are part of a project developed jointly by GITUR and GIRM. 

Coastal heritage
This project is in the application stage, having been introduced in the scope of GAC (Action Group of the West Coast). It strategically aims to enhance the Óbidos lagoon as a source of new and sustainable opportunities for the local community. It is intended to foster the development of tourism activities and the promotion of existing products.

Surf impacts
The Municipality of Peniche is currently promoted as "Surf Capital." The title stems from the fact that one of the stages of the World Surfing Championships takes place in this county. ESTM and GITUR collaborate in organizing this event, conducting a study on the profile of the participants at the event and estimation of their economic impact on the county. 
Another event related to the wave practices in Peniche is the Bodyboard & Surf University Circuit, which has been organized annually in May by teachers and students of ESTM. This event is approved by the Portuguese Surfing Federation, and has the participation of representatives of 40 institutions of higher education. GITUR is conducting a study on the profile and motivations of the practitioners of national surfing and bodyboarding, based on the participants in this competition. 

The Municipality of Peniche is one of the most sought nationally for diving. In association with companies that provide services in the diving field, GITUR will conduct studies to identify the profile of diving practitioners, in order to foresee the full integration of this niche of consumers in the broader context of local and regional tourism demand.

«Tanto Mar» Project 
The City Hall of Peniche and the Student Forum, in partnership with ESTM, conduct an annual environmental education initiative called Tanto Mar, addressed to all young people of the country. During one week, a group of 50 young students, previously selected from a wider range of candidates, has the opportunity to spend a week in Peniche and perform an environmental education program, with several workshops, visit to Berlenga, laboratory experiments, etc. GITUR conducts the evaluation of this initiative of environmental awareness, in terms of its influence on the young people involved. 

Cruise Tourism
Cruise tourism is clearly one of the main tourism products worldwide. In the last decade, Lisbon became part of many cruise itineraries. However, there are very few studies in Portugal on Cruise Tourism. In association with Global Sea, GITUR is developing four specific projects:
 Postgraduate studies in Cruise Tourism
 Study on the profile of cruise tourists, residents in Portugal;
 Study on motivations, expectations and satisfaction of cruise customers;  
 Odissea – Master Class Film Festival (see below).

Sea Gastronomy
Between 2009 and 2010, GITUR held a project called "Food in the Western Region." With the West region as one whose cuisine is closely associated to seafood (fish, shellfish, molluscs and canned), and a rich and abundant culinary tradition, the study is intended to continue, highlighting the role of marine resources in gastronomy of the region, and assessing its centrality as a regional tourist attraction.  

Internationally, GITUR develops various initiatives of scientific interest, whose merit and quality have been recognized by most international partners. The following are innovative initiatives that put GITUR among the most dynamic scientific Tourism organizations worldwide: 
a) European Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation (EJTHR)
This scientific journal was born in November 2010, is published three times a year, and is assumed as an editorial project with international quality (Detailed information on EJTHR: www.ejthr.com).
b) International Tourism Congress (ITC)
The fifth edition of the Congress took place from 23 to 25 November 2011. 102 speakers from twenty countries participated in the Congress. The great increase of speakers of the most prestigious universities around the world, as well as the high quality of the papers presented (many of them subsequently published in the European Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation) have helped position it among the most prestigious conferences in the international scene. (Detailed information on the  ITC: www.citurismo.ipleiria.pt); 
c) EJTHR Conference on Destination Branding, Heritage and Authenticity 
The International Conference on Destination Branding, Heritage and Authenticity is promoted by the European Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation. It will be held every two years, always in different European countries, and will be co-organized by three entities: 
 GITUR, as editor of the EJTHR
 The university of the host country
 The university of the country that will host the next edition of the conference, two years later. 
The first edition of the EJTHR Conference will be held on June 21st and 22nd, in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), and will have as co-organizers the Centro de Estudios de Turismo (CETUR), of the University of Compostela and the Department of Heritage, Arts and History of the University of Salento (Lecce – Italy). (See detailed information and "Call for Papers" for the 1st EJTHR Conference here: www.project.ejthr.com).
d) International  Conference on Cinema, Tourism and Place Branding
This conference is supported by the Structural Funds of QREN, under the SIAC-Centro – Projeto OESTE ATIVO (see below) and aims to support the development of Film Tourism in the Oeste region, leading the local agents and the leaders of national and regional tourism promotion to understand the capital gains arising from a bet on innovative synergies between cinema and tourism. This conference will be supported by an international research network - a Film Tourism & Destination Branding Research - that is being created under the aegis of GITUR.     

e) International Conference on Tourism Recreation (ICTR)
Also supported by the Structural Funds of QREN, under the SIAC-Centro – Projeto OESTE ATIVO (see below), the International Conference on Tourism Recreation is organized by GITUR and the Degree on Tourism and Recreation in ESTM, and aims to share experiences between the different actors (academia and business) involved in tourism recreation, in their various fields of application: cultural, sporting and environmental. The presentation of case studies in tourism recreation and sharing experience in workshops are the main attractions of this conference. 
f) International Conference on Cinema and Tourism (ICCT)
The international conference on Cinema and Tourism under the motto “From Tourist Imaginary to Destination Branding”, is organized by GITUR and is held annually in Barcelos, within the scope of ART&TUR – International Festival of Tourism Films. On September 28th and 29th 2011 took place the 2nd edition, and was attended by several speakers from Portugal and Spain.  
(Detailed information on the ICCT Conference: www.aptur.net/conferencia).

Under the first axis of intervention, two major projects are being developed, namely:
a) Tourism Observatory of Oeste (OTO)
It is a continuous monitoring system of tourism activity in the Oeste region, as a tourist destination. Considering a tourist destination as a network of stakeholders whose management essentially means knowledge management (Cooper, 2011), it is natural that the continuous monitoring of tourism activity in the Oeste destination is an essential element for a quality management in this destination. It is also natural that the information sources of the Tourism Observatory of Oeste are, on the supply side, local authorities, Turismo do Oeste, and all entities involved in tourism (hotels, restaurants, entertainment businesses, museums, etc.), and on the demand side, the tourists and visitors to the Oeste region themselves. 
To ensure that the monitoring of tourism activity in the Oeste region is sufficiently comprehensive, three instruments of data collection are being developed:
• EXPERT-TUR: panel of experts from the Oeste region (consisting of mayors and economic and cultural agents of the region); 
• MOTIV-TUR: barometer directed to demand, to identify the profile of tourists / visitors, as well as their motivations, expectations and behaviors during their stay in the Oeste destination;
• OESTE-FORUM: barometer aimed at professionals of this area, particularly those who have more specialized higher training, and with expertise in their area of intervention. 
The EXPERT-TUR takes place quarterly and focuses on general issues related to tourism development in the region. The MOTIV TUR takes place annually and is capable of evaluating the performance of the tourism sector from the experience of consumers. The OESTE-FORUM has an annual basis, allowing to measure various aspects related to the development of tourism products, including operational aspects of management, employability, issues of technology and innovation, etc.

b) National Observatory of Hotel and Restaurant Industry (ONHR)
Knowledge is increasingly a key factor for the competitiveness of companies of the hotel and restaurant industry. The competitiveness of tourist destinations requires the implementation of two management tools, including: 
• cooperation networks, in which the stakeholders play an important role in the process of participatory management;
• knowledge management, sustained in continuous and systematic monitoring of competitive factors.  
This context recommends the creation of the National Observatory of Hotel and Restaurant Industry, which consists of a system of monitoring the activity of hotels and restaurants nationally. This Observatory should be established under a partnership between GITUR and ARESP - Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Similars in Portugal.
The primary data collection will rely on the development of the following instruments:
 HOTEL-SEARCH - Quarterly surveys to business owners and managers who represent Hotels at a national level, selected from among the members of AHRESP;
 REST-SEARCH - Quarterly surveys to business owners and managers who represent Restaurants at a national level, selected from among the members of AHRESP.
 CLIENT-SEARCH - Annual survey to customers of member companies of AHRESP (customer profile, service quality and satisfaction), to be held with the support of associated companies of AHRESP.
In parallel, the Observatory of Hotel Industry and Tourism will create a Documentation Centre, which will gather and organize relevant statistics on Hotel industry and Tourism, which will be made available by AHRESP to its members, through the website of the Observatory.

The emergence of Creative Industries, which are founded on intellectual property and creativity to generate wealth and employment, is one of the most representative phenomena of the changing economic structure of regions and countries. The creative industries associate creative talent to the management of economic resources and technology, producing tradable goods, whose economic value is based on its "cultural" or "intellectual" properties. 
The creative industries are among the most dynamic sectors of world trade, with a flexible market structure, which includes independent artists and micro-enterprises to some of the world's largest multinational companies. In the period 2000-2005, international trade in creative goods and services grew at an unprecedented rate: 8.7% per year, reaching a value of 424.4 billion dollars, representing 3.4% of world trade. In Europe, the creative industries represent a turnover of 654 billion Euros, corresponding to 2.6% of EU GDP, and are growing 12.3% above the average of the economy, employing 5.8 million people. In Portugal this sector contributed 1.4% of GDP in 2003, corresponding to 6358 million Euros. In 2004, the creative industries in Portugal employed 76 000 people. If we associate cultural tourism to this sector, the volume of total employment reaches the 116 thousand people.
Teachers of ESTM and researchers of GITUR are developing innovative projects in the field of creative industries, which can be considered pioneers nationally. The following are the several projects in development:
Projet Oeste Ativo
The Projeto Oeste Ativo Project is based on the development of an innovative methodology, inducing increased competitiveness in the Oeste Region, through the application of a strategy and actions that seek to strategically position the region and its business sector at national and international levels. This project includes two components, one being the responsibility of AIRO and another the responsibility of GITUR. The following are the actions to be undertaken by GITUR:
Promotional Films of the Oeste Region 
(Based on the survey of the endogenous heritage of Oeste (see specific action), scripts will be created for the subsequent production of promotional films of the Oeste region, in the following domains: fishing, mills, monuments, wine, surfing, golf, arts and traditions. Each film will be released in three versions for different uses: 20 minutes, 5-6 minutes, 2 minutes)
Guide for filming locations 
Production of multimedia content for distribution in the Oeste region, as a place of excellence in hosting cinema, television and advertising productions. It involves the characterization of the scenic qualities of the places destined for filming and its presentation in photography, film and slide shows http://projetooesteativo.weebly.com/roteiro-localizaccedilatildeo-cinematograacutefica.html
Visits to international events 
Under the OESTE ATIVO project, visits to international events fall into two designs: on one hand, to know the best practices in organizing similar activities to implement the actions in the course of this project; on the other hand, to establish relationships with future partners – networking)
Roadmap of film locations in the Oeste region 
(It is about bringing together in one document / database, all useful information about relevant organizations for film production in the Oeste region. For that purpose, the range of services and entities that directly or indirectly may be involved in film production will be identified and inventoried)
Survey on the endogenous heritage of the Oeste region 
(A survey will be conducted on the heritage, both to support the brand Oeste Ativo, and, at the same time, to serve as an anchor for fiction films, documentaries and promotional videos of the Oeste region. Four types of heritage will be selected and inventoried: (1) material heritage (monuments, castles, monasteries, historical centers, art works, mills, crafts), (2) intangible heritage (festivals, traditions, legends, stories, music and dance), (3) "geo" and "bio" assets (landscapes, geomorphology, Berlengas island, etc.). (4) wines and regional gastronomy.)
Cultural industries in creative hospitality 
(The experiential tourism and the emotions arising from experiences are sources of destinations' attractiveness.  The authenticity, culture, products and innovation are factors that may contribute to this attractiveness. Thus, an area supported by the cultural industry becomes a destination with enhanced tourism potential. The following activities are scheduled: cooking workshop, painting courses in areas of rural tourism, workshop design; urban narratives in rural unique spaces; image and multimedia workshop)
The Oeste Ativo project also includes two international conferences related to the creative industries previously described:
- International Conference on Cinema, Tourism and Place Branding
- International Conference on Tourism Recreation.
Film Tourism & Destination Branding Research Network
The fictional cinema, as mass medium, involves the audience emotionally, allowing it, by following the plot, to create new reading codes to known and unknown places, from the places where the film action unfolds. To understand the importance of the potential of these epistemic relationships of the film phenomenon enables to provide an added value to the interpretation in the selection of tourist destinations.
Tourists assume increasingly less the role of mere spectators, they are consumers of experiences and they want to experience them on a specific offer, based on communication and imagination. Aspects such as innovation and creativity are crucial to the creation of synergies between the film, the tourists and the place.
There is a very strong relationship between cinema, creative industries and tourism. The emergence of the "film tourism", especially the many different success stories resulting from virtuous synergies between cinema and tourism, draw attention to new forms of tourism promotion. The onset of film commissions in the universe of organizations that promote tourism and cinema, seeking to fill the gap between these two industries that are highly professionalized but can benefit from a reciprocal approach, is a clear indication of the numerous advantages associated with these new trends of development of tourism, in interaction with cinema and other creative industries.
Within this research network in film tourism and destination branding the following activities will be held:
 International Conference on Film Tourism (previously mentioned);
 Edition of a themed special issue of the European Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation;
 Destination Brand Index – a new methodology to measure the value of destination brands.

Erasmus Film Fest
Erasmus Film Fest, to be co-hosted by ESAD.CR and ESTM, is a student film festival. The first edition will take place on May 9, and it may involve students from all institutions of higher education in Europe where the Erasmus Programme is established. The overall objective of this event is complementary to the purposes of the Erasmus Programme, supporting the interpersonal and cultural development, as well as the acquisition of experiences that can be shared. It will also be an opportunity for talent development by creating new challenges in terms of innovation and creativity. 

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