1. What are your personal perspectives as a researcher?

Research is clearly among the top motivations of academics. Research is about analysing and understanding the world, finding optimal and nice solutions for problems and to contribute to a better world and better societies. For an academic, research is yet the leitmotiv for the other activities.

Based on this assumption I welcome policies that emerge from research, that create new forms of teaching based on the results arising from research, and also that find new developments and innovations with the industry through findings and achievement coming from research.


2. In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges in your area of research?

My main research is centered on Management and in particular on Tourism. Tourism has evolved from a ‘mere’ social phenomenon and from a minor activity to one of the most prominent research areas. Since the 1960s tourism expanded so rapidly that nowadays it has become the world’s largest economic sector, well ahead of the two traditional economic giants: oil production and car industry. Not surprisingly, the academy has directed attention to this emerging area. Over the last 3 decades, and in addition to this economic growth, publications and research projects in the area have mushroomed all around the world. Tourism has clearly become fashionable and growing number of academics from all scientific areas are directing their projects to this field.


3. Where are the strengths of the UA in your opinion?

The UA is clearly amongst the most attractive campus in Portugal and, despite being relatively small, it is one of the best places to conduct research in the world. Notably the architecture, the design, the location and the nearby city are amongst the most important features of our campus. Academics are human beings, whenever they decide where to live, they give particular attention to the living conditions and the individual and family comfort. Therefore, the quality of the infrastructure and its location play a critical role to decide where to live.

Also, and in addition to its physical plant, the campus is well advanced from a technological point of view. Nowadays, the concept of geographical centrality is losing ground to the idea of knowledge centrality … and it is undeniable that the UA has gained ground from a technological and scientific point of view.

The close networking developed with the business and organisations outside the campus is also amongst the most distinctive features of the UA. This pushes academics into some of the most critical challenges they are faced at present: they have to innovate in close cooperation with the ‘outside’ world, and also they have to re-orient their research to activities that support their research and teaching activities but also that are also responsible for raising new sources of funding.


4. Could you give one idea to improve research in the UA?

One of the main advantages of the UA is its integrated campus. Right from the beginning the UA has expanded its plant and based its teaching and research under the umbrella of a very simple governance: departments that interact horizontally with each other. And there is no doubt that this organisation is one of the cornerstones of the UA success.

However, the university of the 1970s and 1980s, with less than 5 thousand students, has given stage to a city of knowledge with more than 15 thousand students, and with worldwide connections.

While it seems undeniable that its horizontal structure should be maintained in the future, and new tiers of government and bureaucratic structures should be avoided, the UA has to strengthen its internal connections and take advantage of the physical and scientific ‘proximities’ and accelerate forms of internal networking to densify and optimize all its potential. The evolution

of research and the emergence of new ways of teaching will clearly depend on the capacity of the UA to innovate and to rediscover itself.

última atualização a 24-02-2016

Mountain View

Carlos Costa is Full Professor (Professor Catedrático), Head of the Department of Economics, Management and Industrial Engineering of the University of Aveiro and Editor of the Journal of Tourism & Development (Revista de Turismo e Desenvolvimento).

He holds a PhD and MSc on Tourism Management (University of Surrey, UK), and a BSc on Urban and Regional Planning (University of Aveiro, Portugal).

Carlos is the leader of the Tourism Research Unit and of the PhD Tourism Programme of the University of Aveiro. He is also Scientific Coordinator of the “idtour-unique solutions” (tourism spin-off company of the University of Aveiro), a private sector company located in the University, responsible for the transference of knowledge and innovation to the tourism sector. Carlos is involved in a number of national and international tourism projects.


Prof. Carlos Costa
Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourismo (DEGEIT)
Universidade de Aveiro
Campus Universitário de Santiago
3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
phone: +351 234 370 361
e-mail: ccosta@ua.pt  

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