The School of Tourism and Maritime Technology (Polytechnic Institute of Leiria), in Peniche, Portugal, promotes the ITC’15 – VIII International Tourism Congress, on 25-27 November 2015, with the theme “The Image and Sustainability of Tourist Destinations”, aiming to present and discuss national and international experiences about tourism valuation policies as far as territories, competitiveness, sustainability and promotion are concerned.


In the last few decades, the travel and tourism sector has become one of the main activities of the worldwide economy. According to the statistics of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) the international tourist arrivals reached 1.035 billion in 2012, an addition of more than 40 million compared to the year 2011. On the other hand, the tourist income has grown from 1.042 billion USD in 2011 to 1.075 billion in 2012. Accordingly, with the growing demand on tourism destinations as well as with tourism becoming a major economic force worldwide, there is tremendous interest in developing tourism sustainably with a mutual aim of enhancing the customers’ experience as well as maintaining tourism destinations. Furthermore, due to the escalating tourism destination competitiveness, forming a unique, attractive image for tourism destinations is becoming an area of developing interest amongst tourism researchers and practitioners.

So, the ITC’15 objectives are:

  1. To present and discuss national and international experiences about tourism destinations’s competitiveness, sustainability, branding, marketing and customers’ experience.
  2. To provide an open forum for the exchange of views on themes related to tourist destinations strategy and management among the community, students, academics, policy makers entrepreneurs and professionals.
  3. To explore and discuss new perspectives on tourism and regional development in order to promote new methodological and empirical approaches.
  4. To analyze the importance of tourist activities and its impact on economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects, at a regional, national and international level.

The ITC’15 consists of four types of sessions:

  • Keynote Sessions on themes of a major interest for the conference attendees; that will involve invited tourism academics and experts.
  • General Sessions on a range of topics that will follow the format of presentations and discussion with the attendees.
  • Graduate Seminar provides master and PhD students with a forum to present and to discuss their research, and an opportunity to get feedback from and exchange comments with fellow master and PhD students and established researchers in Tourism.
  • Posters: by facilitating informal discussions between presenters and their audience, poster sessions provide a more intimate forum for exchange than do regular paper presentations


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