Fostering Interaction Between Locals and Visitors by Designing a Community-Based Tourism Platform on a Touristic Island

  • Mara DionisioEmail author
  • Cláudia Silva
  • Valentina Nisi
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11747)


More people are traveling than ever before. This intense and disproportionate growth in tourism may, however, generate negative environmental and social effects, especially on islands. In order to address this issue, this article presents the design and evaluation of Há-Vita, an interactive web platform, whose goal is to foster awareness of local nature and folk knowledge and create connections between locals and visitors. We explored these design goals through different research methods, such as user studies with tourists in hotel lobbies, as well as focus groups consisting of two different groups of local residents and a group of visitors. Theoretically, Há-Vita is grounded in the concept of “community-based tourism ventures,” which is concerned with environmental preservation via ecotourism practices and, at the same time, the empowerment of local communities. Furthermore, the design rationale of the platform is also inspired by the authenticity theory, which examines tourists’ pursuit of meaningful interactions with locals. Our results indicate that, despite time constraints (for visitors), locals and visitors were willing to interact with each other as they acknowledged authentic benefits in such interaction. Furthermore, our focus groups with locals have shown the potential to stimulate different levels of local empowerment based on the community-based tourism framework in the design iterations of Há-Vita.


Community empowerment Tourism Nature and culture preservation Design HCI Tourism sustainability 



We wish to acknowledge our fellow researchers Ana Bettencourt, Dina Dionisio and the support of following funding entities: LARSyS (UID/EEA/50009/2019), MITIExcell (M1420-01-0145-FEDER-000002) and FCT Grant (PD/BD/114142/2015).


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mara Dionisio
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Cláudia Silva
    • 2
  • Valentina Nisi
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.FCT/NOVALisbonPortugal
  2. 2.ITI/LARSYS, Madeira-ITIFunchalPortugal
  3. 3.Universidade da MadeiraFunchalPortugal

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