Abstract for: Modeling Sustainability of Mass Tourism in Lisbon

Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world, growing approximately 7% annually (WTO, 2010). It represents an important income source for developing countries, and developed countries confronting recession commonly exploit it. In Lisbon, tourism is one of the main economic activities and job creation foundations. However, it is also a potential source of cultural and environmental degradation if not managed properly. Our research focuses on the impact of mass tourism on the cultural identity of Lisbon region. System Dynamics is used for policy analysis, intending to raise awareness of local authorities and industry about the consequences that mass tourism might have on the cultural identity of the region, as well as on the destination attractiveness. The quantified model portrays the interplay of environmental, social, economic and cultural sectors. Our research is focused on the cultural identity of the destination, which has been abstracted from three different sectors real estate, touristsí arrival and attractiveness. Research supports the use of System Dynamics as a suitable methodology to explain the boom and bust in the tourism sector, as well as for sustainable tourism policy analysis. Results suggest feasibility, but not assured eventuality, and aims to raise awareness of negative impacts of mass tourism.