History & Mission

The Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics (CIEO) was founded in 2007 as a multidisciplinary research centre in the domain of Social Sciences. CIEO is financed and evaluated by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), having the classification of Very Good.

Until the end of 2017, members of CIEO were organized in three research groups:

  • Cities and Spatial Dynamics;
  • Organizations, Innovation and Learning Spaces;
  • Tourism and Well-being in Society.

At the end of 2017, the evaluation process of the R&D units, conducted by FCT, opened doors for a deep reflection about the future of CIEO. In this process, it was generally recognized that the dynamics and growing of CIEO could benefit if research was oriented and focused towards a specific thematic area. The chosen thematic area was Tourism. Accordingly, in the current evaluation process, CIEO proposes to change its denomination to CinTurs, Research Centre for Tourism, Sustainability and Well-being.

Indeed, tourism is a global phenomenon and current tourism research privileges the development of a holistic scientific body of knowledge towards the sustainable development of tourism destinations and their stakeholders’ well-being. In this way, CIEO would be in line with the EU priority investigation themes for 2020, related to “Climate action, environment, resource efficiency & raw materials”, “Health, demographic change & wellbeing” and "Europe in a changing world, inclusive, innovative and reflective societies". This paradigm in tourism studies also reinforces the need of inter and multidisciplinary studies involving other sciences, since ever present in CIEO, and that impact the development of Tourism, such as Environmental Sciences, Economics, Management, Sociology and Psychology.

Moreover, to produce and transfer knowledge in the Tourism domain has been a priority for the University of Algarve (UAlg) since a long time ago:

  • In 2008, UALG lodged the CITel (Research Centre in Tourism and Leisure), the first Centre for the study of tourism, in Portugal.
  • In 2010, members of CiTeL integrated the "Tourism and Well-being in Society" group of the CIEO.
  • In 2017, the "Tourism and Well-being in Society" research group reported good productivity in the 5 last years, showing aptitude to include and potentiate the best research in the other research groups, some of them already working in tourism.

CIEO (CinTurs, when the evaluation process is concluded) is settled at the University of Algarve (UALG), being the Algarve the most important Portuguese tourism destination. In parallel with Sciences of the Sea, Tourism is considered a pillar for the development of UALG, already among the leading Portuguese institutions regarding high education in tourism and tourism research. Algarve itself is a natural laboratory for the scientific study of tourism, with tourism as main economic activity.

Thus, given the scientific heritage of CIEO, the development strategy of UALG and the characteristics of Algarve as the main Portuguese destination, the mission of CinTurs is the development and transfer of knowledge towards the sustainable development of tourism destinations and their stakeholders’ well-being, strengthening the position of UALG as an international reference in the field. According to the Research Agenda in Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Management, and the multidisciplinary scientific profile of its members, the centre intends to develop research in three main areas:

In correspondence to its research areas, CIEO/Cinturs is classified in the following scientific areas within Social Sciences:

  • Social and Economic Geography;
  • Economics and Management;
  • Other Social Sciences.