research

For five years I specialized in the development of sustainable tourism by obtaining a PhD from Erasmus University in 2022. During my research period, I studied the topics of Airbnb, tourism and the housing market, gentrification, city livability, regenerative tourism, and the doughnut economy. Below you can find an overview of the published works from my research time.

Journal of Tourism Geographies (December 2023)
Academic Journal

ABSTRACT
Issues with social and ecological sustainability in tourism should be seen as the result of widespread neoliberal policy making. This has led to tourism strategies that focus largely on growth of visitor numbers and spending. This paper investigates the transition to alternative strategies based on degrowth and regeneration, applying doughnut economics to urban tourism development. Action-oriented workshops were used as a research method. The workshops were offered to Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) and municipalities of seven cities in the Netherlands. Drawing from this method, this paper aims to investigate how and to what extent the doughnut economics model can be applied to an urban tourism context in order to facilitate a sustainability transition and what barriers are encountered in doing so. It also sheds light on the role academia can have in instigating change in practice. The results show that the doughnut model can be used in an urban tourism context to help DMOs and municipalities rethink their current strategies and replace them with more sustainable ones. However, even though the workshops made the majority of participating stakeholders question growth-based tourism strategies, neoliberal thinking often (unconsciously) prevails. The biggest barrier was found in the cultural dimension, underlining the argument that a sustainability transition in tourism can only happen if the mindset of the individual people in the tourism system changes (Grin et al., Citation2010; Loorbach et al., Citation2017). Future research could benefit from innovative research methods, for example by incorporating design thinking, to further facilitate such a transition in tourism.

A Research Agenda for Urban Tourism  (January 2022)
Book chapter


A Modern Guide to the Urban Sharing Economy (August 2021)
Book chapter

ABSTRACT
The presence of short-term rentals has been growing rapidly in the past few years and is not only limited to the most touristic cities anymore. This chapter takes a closer look at the development of short-term rentals and its regulatory process in Valencia (Spain). Tourism in Valencia has been growing and so has been growing the presence of Airbnb apartments. Like in many other mid-sized cities, Valencia is increasingly experiencing the negative effects of Airbnb and struggling to design suitable regulatory frameworks. Most short-term rentals in Valencia are located in areas that are already rapidly gentrifying and this chapter thus explores the relationship between gentrification, short-term rentals and regulatory approaches in mid-sized cities by using Valencia as a case study. The chapter aims to show that even though Airbnb apartments might be smaller in number in some cities, the (perceived) impact and regulatory struggles are similar to those of bigger cities.

 

Journal of Sustainable Tourism (November 2020)
Academic Journal

ABSTRACT
This article analyses how creative entrepreneurs perceive the development of tourism; it looks at creative placemaking in tourism and reflects on the role of creative entrepreneurs in the sustainable development of tourism. To do so, we conducted semi-structured interviews with creative entrepreneurs in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. We choose a city in an early stage of tourism development but in a more advanced stage of culture-led urban regeneration. Although Rotterdam has a long history of strategies to change its image into a creative one, only recently has the city experienced an increase in media attention and a growing number of domestic and international tourists. This offers a unique opportunity to explore tourism development at an early stage. Our results nuance our understanding of the relations between creative entrepreneurs, placemaking, and tourism. Although the creative entrepreneurs in our sample consider themselves placemakers, issues such as equality, inclusiveness, and avoiding gentrification are still not adequately addressed. From a policy perspective, this study emphasises the need to take into account the fundamental question of whose city Rotterdam is and who benefits from the urban and tourism development strategy.

Current Issues inTourism (August 2018)
Academic Journal

ABSTRACT
In recent years, home-sharing platform Airbnb has developed into a major player in the tourism sector. It allows tourists to have authentic, off-the-beaten-track experiences in neighbourhoods previously unvisited. Although neighbourhoods can profit from increased attention and income, Airbnb and other short-term rentals (STRs) can also be disruptive to the traditional lodging industry and trigger gentrification processes; housing affordability and availability are jeopardized when housing units are turned into vacation rentals. Local governments worldwide are struggling to regulate STRs and their negative externalities. This paper focuses on key challenges cities face when dealing with STR platforms and the rationale behind different regulatory approaches. It first compares policies of 11 European and American cities and then zooms in on Denver to see how it regulates the impact of Airbnb. Most cities are relatively lenient towards STRs, with little to no (complete) prohibition. Instead, they limit the number of guests, nights and times a property can be rented, demand certain safety precautions and information provision, or require primary residency. Regulations are mostly directed to mitigate neighbourhood impacts, rather than creating a level playing field for the traditional lodging industry. Enforcement remains difficult due to the STR market’s dynamic nature and online practice.

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