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43rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Peripheries, Centres, and Spatial Development in the New Europe", 27th - 30th August 2003, Jyväskylä, Finland
The paper is based on the international research and policy initiative 'SUSTAINABLE URBAN TOURISM: Involving Local Agents and Partnerships for New Forms of Governance' (SUT-Governance) supported by the European Commission's '5th Framework Program' (see http://sut.fzk.de). The core hypothesis of the SUT-Governance project maintains that multi-stakeholder partnerships, and specifically public-private co-operations (SUT-partnerships), can be effective means for pursuing sustainability targets in urban tourism development. The main goal of this paper is to enhance the understanding of the complexity characterising the forms of cooperations in the area of sustainable urban tourism where different actors come together to jointly pursue the principles of sustainability with participatory decision-making in urban environments. Subsequently the core question of the proposed paper refers to the key factors determining forms of partnership collaboration in the field of sustainable urban tourism. Initial research followed the hypothesis that SUT-partnerships are mostly initiated by local/urban administrations seeking collaborative opportunities with other stakeholders, the private sector in particular, to promote urban tourism. This would suggest a classification according to the involved sectors and their roles. Yet the current analysis asserts that the partnership model is not determined by the actors and/or sectors undertaking partnership roles and responsibilities but is based on the motivations for partnership formation: A) Development partnerships are based on the public sector's aim to stimulate and support the implementation of co-operative initiatives. The general idea is to promote an (economic) win-win situation for the community and the participating private actors (like environmental or townscape enhancement), but the duration of the partnership or, at least, the timeframe of public sector participation is limited right from the start. Once the private partners 'adopted the desired behaviour', the public sector withdraws from the partnership or remains in its role as a subsidiser of the private initiatives. B) Marketing partnerships are founded in order to combine a service delivery which is carried out by a jointly owned partnership agency. The partnership activity is a continuous undertaking as the nature of the set objectives requires a long-term co-operation using a common cooperative framework. The content of the co-operation is frequently adapted and, if one objective is completed, a new one is set up. Therefore, an on-going process of collaboration is necessary, enabling swift adjustments to changing environments. The above drafted classification according to the 'reasons for partnership establishment and objectives' appears most appropriate for the purpose of providing a better understanding of forms of cooperations in the area of sustainable urban tourism. Results are supported by broad empirical data and partnership examples.
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