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Destination Governance at Stake: Fostering Policy Coordination Among Decision-Makers of a Small Town


This research aims to foster small-town decision-makers’ awareness of policy coordination as a central issue in either implementing collaborative governance and designing tourism development policies. To this end, a System Dynamics-based Interactive Learning Environment (ILE) has been designed with the intent of challenging decision-makers to increase tourism in the small town, while managing trade-offs among individualistic vs. collaborative behaviour. The action research took place in Castelbuono, a small tourism destination in Sicily (Italy). Three major decision-makers were involved: the mayor of the town, the museum’s director, and a restaurant owner. The use of the ILE has enabled decision-makers to review their mental models and to understand interdependence among their strategies. The action research leads decision-makers to reflect upon the importance of collaborative governance for tourism destination as well as to manage small-town shared resources.