1 University of Girona

2 Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

3 Tourism Planning Research Group, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia


Given the economic importance of the tourism sector in coastal regions and its impact on water resources, is increasingly important to prioritise sustainable strategies in water management amid growing tourism in destinations where water availability is scarce at certain times of the year, such as the Costa Brava in Spain and Perhentian and Langkawi islands in Malaysia. This study determines relevant factors for sustainable tourist destinations considering stakeholder preferences following the qualitative Delphi method. Water experts were asked about the importance of technical, economic, social, political and environmental factors in water management, and each factor was weighted, in order to establish priorities and reach a consensus on water management alternatives that affect the different actors. The paper advocates for an integrated and sustainable approach to water management, involving collaboration between the tourism sector, local authorities and communities, and suggests an additional cross-cultural analysis to understand regional nuances in environmental decision-making. The integration of quantitative and qualitative methods in water management research is advocated to improve the understanding and governance of coastal water systems.