Emerging Scholar Profile: Dr. Trini Rovira Soto
Dr. Trini Rovira Soto is a postdoctoral researcher at Rovira i Virgili University, Spain, in the Research Group on Territorial Analysis and Tourism Studies (GRATET). Perhaps because she was born and lives in a Mediterranean coastal tourist town, she has always been fascinated by the forms of the urban landscape in these types of cities.
After graduating with a major in Geography and earning a Master's Degree in Planning and Management of Tourism from Rovira i Virgili University, Trini was awarded a research grant from the Government of Catalonia to develop a PhD thesis on the identification of urban landscape patterns in mass tourism destinations on the Mediterranean Coast. The aim of the research was to define a methodology for analysing the basic structure of the dominant second-home landscapes of many coastal areas along the Mediterranean Sea. She designed a set of spatial metrics inspired by the Landscape Ecology measurement tools in order to identify landscape units of temporary residential urban areas. Urban partial-plan documents were used to measure the spatial metrics and functional models and to define the configuration and composition of the second-home landscape. Urban partial plans are rich not only in quantitative but also in qualitative information since they reflect the intentions of urban-space designers to meet the needs related to tourists’ demands. The resulting approach was applied to a coastal tourism destination in the Mediterranean where a continuous second-home area with singular urban dynamics was created starting in the 1960s.
As a postdoc researcher, Trini is currently analysing models of spatial development of tourist destinations from an evolutionary perspective. To this end, she is participating in a project focused on the "Analysis of the role of territorial policies in management of tourist destinations in the era of mobility" (POLITUR, Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO) and the European Development Fund Regional (ERDF)/ CSO2017-82156-R (MINECO/AEI).
Previously, Trini has also participated in other projects funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation of the Spanish Government with the purpose of studying models of territorial development fostered by the tourism industry in the Mediterranean Coastal region from the perspective of innovation and territorial competitiveness and to analyse territorial innovation processes in tourist-destination spaces, the capacity of tourism to generate competitive territories, the transformation of regional systems, and the evolution of urban structures and regional integration of destinations on an intermediate scale.
Related to those projects, Trini has contributed to a number of conferences including The Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers annual conference held in London in 2013 and the New Perspectives on Second Homes seminar organized by the Commission of Geography of Tourism, Leisure and Global Change of the International Geographical Union in Stockholm in 2014. The main results of this research have been published in a book edited by C. M. Hall and D. Müller titled The Routledge Handbook of Second Home Tourism and Mobilities (Routledge, 2018) and in a paper published in the journal Land Use Policy (2017, 68) among others.
Trini’s research uses GIS software as the basic instrument for collecting data, analysing patterns and demonstrating results. Using this tool, she is also currently studying the images of tourist destinations through cognitive maps built from a systematic computerized methodology that allows researchers to obtain information from massive online data banks. Moreover, she is working on a project with the aim of explaining spatial-temporal patterns of locations of hotels in mass tourism destinations along the Mediterranean Coast, taking into account the characteristics of the facilities themselves and their relationships with other spatial variables at the destination level.
Trini also has many years of teaching experience. At Rovira i Virgili University, specifically in the Tourism and Geography Faculty, she teaches an introductory course on the subject of remote sensing applied to geography and a course related to the analysis and design of proposals for territorial development. Both courses are taught in the degree for Geography and Spatial Planning. In addition, she collaborates with the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia), an online university, as a consulting professor for the degree of Business Management and Tourism. She teaches a course on the introduction of tourism spaces.Despite a very busy professional life, Trini still finds time to enjoy outdoor activities such as climbing, getting to know new places, travelling in her camper van, and spending time with her family and her adorable dog.
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