Stakeholder engagement in sustainable tourism planning through serious gaming

L Lalicic, J Weber-Sabil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Serious gaming is an interdisciplinary and co-creative research methodology, which allows participants to proactively engage in role-playing and co-creating strategies. During the gameplay session, various game mechanisms trigger individual, social, and collective learning outcomes of the players, which in the end can lead to a change in the individual belief system towards the subject. Despite demonstrating its applicability in other complex domains, such as maritime spatial planning or urban development, an investigation into the applicability of serious games within the tourism domain is scarce. In conceiving the process of tourism planning as a strategic plan with dependent actors, resources, objectives, and challenges in a multi-layered decision-making process, creating or re-creating such strategic games can be beneficial to promote the understanding and change of belief systems among stakeholders. A particularly critically question is how serious gaming is able to generate qualitative research inquiries in order to shed more light on the complexities of the tourism destination planning process. Destination planning research can profit from new disruptive methods, such as serious gaming, for a more experimental and explorative approach in understanding the interconnectedness of tourism stakeholders, as well as estimations of short and long-term impact of decisions on a destination. By enabling strategic conversation about tourism planning issues, serious gaming functions as a strategic learning tool that provides opportunities for individual and community learning. Besides practical and conceptual implications, a set of future research avenues are provided that will enhance the qualitative research paradigm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-205
Number of pages21
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • serious gaming
  • destination planning
  • stakeholder engagement
  • cocreative learning
  • tourism development
  • qualitative research

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