Functional Conflicts in Tourist Coastal Resort Cities with Special Spa Status in Poland. The Stakeholder Approach


This study aims to identify and analyse the potential conflicts of tourism, resort and residents’ functions based on coastal resort cities of the highest importance in Poland (Sopot, Ustka, Kołobrzeg, Świnoujście). Coastal health resorts are specific urban units where tourist and resort functions provided under high environmental restrictions dominate the primary urban function typically focused on social and resident matters. Coastal resort cities attract tourists heavily. Hence, such cities must deal with varied stakeholder expectations. This may lead to conflicts in sustainable urban development.

The analysis considers the stakeholder perspective regarding the occurrence of various conflicts. Different research methods have been used, including case studies and stakeholder analysis based on the salience model and classifying stakeholders into homogenous groups with the attributes assigned.

The diverse and often divergent needs of stakeholders in coastal cities require a specific approach to developing such urban units, including stakeholder relationship management. A method used for the resort stakeholder analysis is based on classical stakeholder classification proposed by Mitchel, Agle and Wood (1997).

The nature of functions performed in resort cities naturally lead to internal and developmental conflicts. However, based on an assessment of attributes assigned their evaluation across key stakeholder groups, the study results show that these conflicts occurred dormant in studied cities.

The research methods used, an approach taken, and results achieved can be successfully used by decision-makers responsible for urban development to identify and manage potential conflicts deriving from diversified expectations of urban stakeholders or conflicting urban functions.

The article is of an international character and might be used to various aspects of city management, as it combines stakeholder management approach with urban development and potential function conflicts.


[1] Aapaoja, A. Haapasalo, H. 2014. A Framework for Stakeholder Identification and Classification in Construction Projects. Open Journal of Business and Management, 43-55. DOI:
[2] Al Maamari, G. 2020. Multiple stakeholders’ perception of the long-term success of project: a critical study of Oman tourism resort projects (Doctoral dissertation, Bournemouth University).
[3] Altinay, L., Kozak, M. 2021. Revisiting destination competitiveness through chaos theory: The butterfly competitiveness model. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management 49: 331-340. DOI:
[4] Álvarez, M. M., Chanda, R., Smith, R. D. 2011. The potential for bi-lateral agreements in medical tourism: A qualitative study of stakeholder perspectives from the UK and India. Globalization and Health 7(1): 1-9. DOI:
[5] Aydin, G., Karamehmet, B. 2017. Factors affecting health tourism and international health-care facility choice. International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing 11(1): 16-36. DOI:
[6] Boerner, S., Jobst, J. 2011. Stakeholder management and program planning in German public theaters. Nonprofit Management and Leadership 22(1): 67–84. DOI:
[7] Büyüközkan, G., Mukul, E., Kongar, E. 2021. Health tourism strategy selection via SWOT analysis and integrated hesitant fuzzy linguistic AHP-MABAC approach. Socio-economic Planning Sciences 74, 100929. DOI:
[8] Chapman, A., Light, D. 2016. Exploring the tourist destination as a mosaic: The alternative lifecycles of the seaside amusement arcade sector in Britain. Tourism Management 52: 254–263. DOI:
[9] Chen, J., Zhang, L., Zhao, S., Zong, H. 2023. Assessing Land-Use Conflict Potential and Its Correlation with LULC Based on the Perspective of Multi-Functionality and Landscape Complexity: The Case of Chengdu, China. Land 12(4), 742. DOI:
[10] Clavé, S. A., Wilson, J. 2016. The evolution of coastal tourism destinations: a path plasticity perspective on tourism urbanisation. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 25(1): 96–112. DOI:
[11] Csirmaz, É., Pető, K. 2015. International trends in recreational and wellness tourism. Procedia economics and finance 32: 755-762. DOI:
[12] De la Hoz-Correa, A., Muñoz-Leiva, F., Bakucz, M. 2018. Past themes and future trends in medical tourism research: A co-word analysis. Tourism Management 65: 200-211. DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2017.10.001
[13] Dimitrovski, D., Todorović, A. 2015. Clustering wellness tourists in spa environment. Tourism Management Perspectives 16: 259-265. DOI: 10.1016/j.tmp.2015.09.004
[14] Doloi, H. 2012. Assessing stakeholders’ influence on social performance of infrastructure projects. Facilities 30(11/12): 531-550. DOI:
[15] Dryglas, D., Salamaga, M. 2018. Segmentation by push motives in health tourism destinations: A case study of Polish spa resorts. Journal of Destination Marketing and Management 9: 234–246. DOI:
[16] Eskerod, P., Huemann, M., Savage, G. 2015. Project stakeholder management—Past and present. Project management journal 46(6): 6-14. DOI:
[17] Fitzgerald, J., Leigh, N. G. 2002. Economic Revitalization. Cases and Strategies for City and Suburb. Sage Publ., Thousand Oaks. London. New Delhi. DOI:
[18] Freya, B.S., Briviba, A. 2021. Revived Originals – A proposal to deal with cultural overtourism. Tourism Economics. 27(6). DOI:
[19] Gillham, B. 2000. Case Study Research Methods. Continuum, London.
[20] Gustavo, N. S. 2010. A 21st-century approach to health tourism spas: The case of Portugal. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management 17(1): 127–135. DOI: http://dx.
[21] Hącia, E. 2016. The impact of tourist traffic on the functioning of Polish seaside health resorts. Transportation Research Procedia 16: 110-121. DOI:
[22] Hira, J.K., Kaur, R. 2023. Supply side stakeholders’ viewpoints about medical tourism in India and the effects of COVID 19. Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management 28(2). DOI:
[23] Insch, A. 2020. The challenges of over-tourism facing New Zealand: Risks and responses. Journal of Destination Marketing and Management 15: 100378. DOI:
[24] Kamassi, A., Abd Manaf, N. H., Omar, A. 2020. The identity and role of stakeholders in the medical tourism industry: state of the art. Tourism Review 75(3): 559-574. DOI:
[25] Kulkajonplun, K., Angkasith, V., Rithmanee, D. 2016. The development of a sustainable resort and indicators. Procedia CIRP 40: 191-196. DOI:
[26] Koens K., Postma A., Papp B. 2018. Is overtourism overused? Understanding the impact of tourism in a city context. Sustainability 10(12), 4384. DOI:
[27] Lindgreen, A., Benedetto, Di B., Beverland, M. B. 2021. How to write up case-study methodology sections. Industrial Marketing Management 96: A7-A10. DOI:
[28] Manaf, N. H. A., Hussin, H., Kassim, P. N. J., Alavi, R., Dahari, Z. 2015. Medical tourism service quality: finally some empirical findings. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence 26(9-10): 1017-1028. DOI:
[29] Mastora, C., Paschalidis, E., Nikiforiadis, A., Basbas, S. 2023. Pedestrian Crossings as a Means of Reducing Conflicts between Cyclists and Pedestrians in Shared Spaces. Sustainability 15(12): 9377. DOI:
[30] Martí, P., Jordán, J., Julian, V. 2023. Best-response planning for urban fleet coordination. Neural Computing and Applications, 1-20.
[31] Mitchell, R. K., Agle, B. R., Wood, D. J. 1997. Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts. Academy of management review 22(4): 853-886. DOI:
[32] Nunes, S., Cooke, P., Grilo, H. 2021. Green-Sphere Circular Experiences and Well-Being Along the Road: Portugal from North to South. In Tourism Innovation in Spain and Portugal. Springer, Cham: 89-111. DOI:
[33] Page, S. J., Hartwell, H., Johns, N., Fyall, A., Ladkin, A., Hemingway, A. 2017. Case study: Wellness, tourism and small business development in a UK coastal resort: Public engagement in practice. Tourism Management 60: 466–477. DOI: https://10.1016/j.tourman.2016.12.014
[34] Pasquinelli, C., Trunfio, M. 2020. Reframing urban overtourism through the Smart-City Lens. Cities 102, 102729. DOI:
[35] Paszkowska, M. 2017. Uzdrowiska w systemie ochrony zdrowia. Difin SA. (in Polish)
[36] Pedrini, M. and Ferri, L. M. 2019. Stakeholder management: a systematic literature review. Corporate Governance 19(1): 44-59. DOI:
[37] Peric, M., Ðurkin, J. and Lamot, I. 2014. Importance of stakeholder management in tourism project: case study of the istra inspirit project1, Faculty of tourism and hospitality management in opatija. Biennial international congress. Tourism and hospitality industry. University of Rijeka, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management.
[38] Postma, A., Schmuecker, D. 2017. Understanding and overcoming negative impacts of tourism in city destinations: conceptual model and strategic framework. Journal of Tourism Futures.
[39] Sagan, I. 2000. Miasto scena konfliktów i współpracy. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego. Gdańsk. (in Polish)
[40] Schnitzer, M., Kössler, C., Schlemmer, P., Peters, M. 2021. Influence of event and place image on residents’ attitudes toward and support for events. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research 45(7): 1260-1281. DOI:
[41] Sibrijns, G. R., Vanneste, D. 2021. Managing overtourism in collaboration: The case of ‘From Capital City to Court City’, a tourism redistribution policy project between Amsterdam and The Hague. Journal of Destination Marketing and Management 20: 100569. DOI:
[42] Spoladore, D., Pessot, E. 2023. An ontology-based decision support system to foster innovation and competitiveness opportunities of health tourism destinations. In Digital and Strategic Innovation for Alpine Health Tourism: Natural Resources, Digital Tools and Innovation Practices from HEALPS 2 Project. Cham: Springer International Publishing: 61-71.
[43] Swanborn P. 2010. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? SAGE Publications, Inc., first edition.
[44] Szromek, A. R., Romaniuk, P. 2014. The management of spa tourism centres in Poland structure of boards, and their perception of different types of visitors, with regard to the funding source of treatment. American Journal of Tourism Management 3(1): 9–16. DOI:
[45] Tomić, N., Košić, K. 2020. Developing the Spa Assessment Model (SAM) and its application on the Kopaonik-Jastrebac spa zone (Serbia). Tourism Management Perspectives 36,: 100753. DOI:
[46] Wagner Mainardes, E., Alves, H., Raposo, M. 2012. A model for stakeholder classification and stakeholder relationships. Management Decision 50(10): 1861–1879. DOI:
[47] Wang, L., Hu, Q., Liu, L., Yuan, C. 2022. Land Use Multifunctions in Metropolis Fringe: Spatiotemporal Identification and Trade-Off Analysis. Land 12(1), 87.
[48] Weclawowicz-Bilska, E., Wdowiarz-Bilska, M. 2019. Revitalisations in Polish Health Resorts vs. European Measures. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering 471(11), 112049. IOP Publishing. DOI:
[49] Wieczorek, I., Wiktorowicz, J. (Eds.). 2020. Działalność uzdrowiskowa polskich gmin – wybrane zagadnienia, Narodowy Instytut Samorządu Terytorialnego. Wydawnictwo Społecznej Akademii Nauk. (in Polish)
[50] Wiktorowicz, J. 2020. Diagnoza gmin uzdrowiskowych w Polsce. Badania i raporty. 10. Narodowy Instytut Samorządu Terytorialnego. (in Polish)
[51] Voigt, C. 2014. Towards a conceptualisation of wellness tourism. In C. Voigt, and Ch. Pforr (Eds.). Wellness tourism. A destination perspective. New York, NY, Routledge: 19–44. DOI:
[52] Yin, R. K. 2012. Case study methods.
[53] Yin, R. K. 1994. Discovering the future of the case study. Method in evaluation research. Evaluation practice 15(3): 283-290.
[54] Zamojska, A., Susmarski, S. 2017. Kryteria doboru strategii zarządzania interesariuszami projektu infrastrukturalnego. Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics 292(6): 95-113. (in Polish). DOI:
[55] Act dated 28 July 2005 on Health Resort Treatment. 2020. Health Resorts, Health Resort Protection Areas, and Health Resort Communes and the Act of March 8, 1990, on commune self-government. Journal of Laws. Item 713. (in Polish)
[56] Act of 28 July 2005 on spa treatment, health resorts and health resort protection areas and in health resort communes. 2021. Journal of Laws. Item 1301. (in Polish)
[57] Act of March 4, 2011, amending the act on spa treatment, health resorts and health resort protection areas and on spa communes and some other acts. (in Polish)
[58] Measuring Stakeholder Influence. Package ‘Stakeholder Analysis’. 2017. Version 1.2. (in Polish)
[59] Municipality of Ustka. Strategy of Ustka. Available at: (in Polish)
[60] Narodowy Bank Polski. Available at: (in Polish)
[61] Rejestr uzdrowisk i obszarów ochrony uzdrowiskowej wraz z kierunkami leczniczymi. http://Rejestr uzdrowisk i obszarów ochrony uzdrowiskowej wraz z kierunkami leczniczymi - Ministerstwo Zdrowia - Portal Available at: (in Polish)
[62] Statistics Poland, Available at: (in Polish)
[63] Strategy of Kołobrzeg. Available at: (in Polish)
[64] Strategy of Sopot. Available at:,58,strategia-rozwoju-miasta.html (in Polish)
[65] Strategy of Świnoujście. Available at: (in Polish)
[66] Study of the conditions and directions of development of the city of Kołobrzeg. Available at: (in Polish)
[67] Study of the conditions and directions of development of the city of Sopot. Available at:,18555,studium-uwarunkowan-i-kierunkow-zagospodarowania-przestrzennego-miasta-sopotu.html. (in Polish)
[68] Study of the conditions and directions of development of the city of Świnoujście. Available at: (in Polish)
[69] Study of the conditions and directions of development of the city of Ustka. Available at: (in Polish)
[70] The statute of the Kołobrzeg health resort. Available at: (in Polish)
[71] The statute of the Sopot health resort. Available at: (in Polish)
[72] The statute of the Świnoujście health resort. (in Polish)
[73] The statute of the Ustka health resort Available at:,pobierz.html?id=13059 (in Polish)
How to Cite
WOŁEK, Marcin; PRÓCHNIAK, Joanna; KEMPA, Jarosław. Functional Conflicts in Tourist Coastal Resort Cities with Special Spa Status in Poland. The Stakeholder Approach. Journal of Environmental Management and Tourism, [S.l.], v. 14, n. 6, p. 2539 - 2556, sep. 2023. ISSN 2068-7729. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 21 apr. 2024. doi: