Touristification and smartization processes are commonly associated with economic growth strategies. Here we emphasize and demonstrate the need to consider the implication of these processes on social sustainability. Initial results imply that: (1) regions not specialized in tourism are associated with a lower share of population in poverty; and (2) regions’ ‘smartness’ level is negatively associated with the share of poverty. However, in regions highly specialized in tourism, smartization demonstrated an opposite association of increased intra-regional poverty. As residents’ quality of life is becoming a key policy consideration, understanding the effect of these socio-economic processes on socially sustainable growth has timely implications for regional planning, including for post-COVID-19 recovery strategies.
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- European regions
- Social sustainability
- smart regions
- smart tourism
- tourism specialization