Drivers of Destination Competitiveness in Tourism: A Global Investigation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Travel Research, 2016, 55, (8), pp. 1041-1050
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Debates about competitiveness and productivity are practically unexplored with respect to tourism. This article posits a productivity-related measure—total tourism contribution to GDP per employee in tourism—in order to examine destination competiveness. Comprehensive results based on a destination competitiveness model are obtained by analyzing tourism-specific and wider economy-based competitiveness factors. These are represented by six destination competitiveness factors measured by 55 indicators for 139 destinations over the period 2007–2011. Study findings demonstrate that tourism-specific factors, such as Tourism Infrastructure and Destination Management, are the major competitiveness drivers in developing countries, while destination competitiveness in developed countries depends on the tourism-specific factor of Destination Management as well as on wider economic conditions such as General Infrastructure, Macro-Environment, and Business Environment. The study offers a novel approach in the operationalization and estimation of a theoretically grounded and empirically validated tourism competitiveness model and discusses the implications for tourism policy.
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