The urban sensescapes perception: the case study of Porto, Portugal

  • I. Imamović School of Economics and Management, University of Minho
  • A. J. A. Azevedo School of Economics and Management, University of Minho
  • B. M. B. Sousa Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Department of Tourism and Management
Palavras-chave: Urban sensescapes, Sensory tourist experience, Emotions, City branding, Porto


Sensory dimensions of tourist destinations have recently been recognized as a crucial component in encouraging positive tourist experience. The urban area is rich in multisensory stimuli that could assist in planning and promoting attractive tourist experiences, and engage in local sustainable development as well. Hence, this paper focuses on capturing a holistic approach of all five human senses and their role in forming meaningful sensory impressions in the context of urban tourism, the so-called urban sensescapes. Following the qualitative approach, the present study embraces eight in-depth interviews with relevant stakeholders in tourism field in order to answer to research gaps in the previous literature and help to understand the role of urban sensescapes and meaning of sensory features of the city. The case study approach enables mapping of multisensory routes where urban entertainment spots are presented in the light of their sensorial and emotional features. This will further facilitate tourist’s experience of the city’s best attractions which reflect all multisensory stimuli, ie., visual, aural, olfactory, gustatory and tactile.