Palma, from 23 to 25 October 2013
Celebrating and Enhancing the Tourism
Knowledge-based Platform: A Tribute to Jafar Jafari


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General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 24 October, 2013 17:35 to 17:55 Oral Communication
From Economic Crises to Tourism Competitiveness
Speaker: José Francisco Perles Ribes, Universidad de Alicante

Authors: Perles-Ribes José Francisco, Ramón-Rodríguez Ana B, Rubia-Serrano Antonio , Moreno-Izquierdo Luis


There are many studies analyzing the relationship between economic crises and tourist demand. Many of these studies focus on specific crises: the Asian crisis, crisis in Turkey, etc. However, there are few studies that explore the links between the crisis and a more general concept of competitiveness of tourism destinations. Competitiveness is one of the most topical concepts of tourism economics. The literature on the subject provides a wide range of economic and business determinants. When they are related to economic evolution, these determinants constitute transmission mechanisms between the economic climate and competitiveness. Currently, there is no optimal and universal model of competitiveness that can be applied to all destinations. Neither is there a generally accepted measure of competitiveness. This paper discusses the use market share as an appropriate indicator of revealed competitiveness. Crises and their management constitute a popular topic for tourism researchers, and many studies on the characteristics of crises and the action taken to overcome them have been carried out. Apart from their intensity or duration, a crucial aspect of the effects of crises on tourism destination competitiveness resides in their symmetrical or asymmetrical nature. In abstract terms, asymmetries will depend on the geographical scope of the shocks – global or regional -, and whether they affect the tourists’ countries of origin, the different competing destinations or both. Within the context of a globalisation of the tourism sector, regional crises are more likely to generate asymmetric effects than global crises. Similarly, due to the higher number of parameters susceptible to being affected, those shocks that affect both markets of origin and destination are most likely to generate asymmetric effects. In this paper Spain is used as case study. Spain is one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations. However the evolutionary process leading to its position has not been linear but has experienced peaks and troughs in parallel with the behaviour of the economy as a whole. At the time of writing this document, Spain was beating records in terms of international inbound tourism in a context of deep economic recession. However, the current situation should not lead us to believe that Spanish tourism is not affected by economic crises and recessions. On the contrary, a contemplation of the sector throughout history reveals that crises usually have a negative impact on Spain’s tourism competitiveness. Depending on the intensity of the crisis, this impact can be reflected in the country’s share in the global tourism market. The objective of this study is to explain the mechanisms linking the economic crises with the competitiveness of tourism destinations. So, this paper considers the influence of economic crises on Spain’s tourism competitiveness, analysing for a period of forty years, the permanent effects of temporary or structural economic crises on competitiveness. Economic transmission mechanisms are established from the main theories of tourism competitiveness. The influence of economic crises on Spain’s tourism competitiveness is measured by its share in world tourism. The main conclusion obtained is that the effects of shocks are not neutral on competitiveness with the negative effects being more persistent in highly intensive crises. This effect works through two basic transmission mechanisms: the reduction of internal and external tourism demand and falling investment. In addition, relevant practical implications for the management of tourist destinations in times of crisis are obtained. The research presented in this paper represents a significant advance over the current state of the question. The work is focused from the perspectives of the social sciences and especially in the field of tourism economy. Tourist destinations can be analyzed from many perspectives: geography, anthropology, sociology,... The existing models on tourism competitiveness are enriched with contributions that come from these sciences. In this sense, are mostly holistic models. Appreciating the importance of all these factors, the authors focus on the economic determinants of competitiveness to establish a set of transmission mechanisms between economic crises and success of tourism destinations. Econometric tools used in this paper are basic but robust. But more complicated tools can be used to demonstrate the links here presented (Granger causality analysis, Regime Swichting Models, etc.). The work opens up new fields of research, especially related to the effects of different kinds of crises over different kinds of destinations (mature vs. emerging,...)
Session 4 – Economic performance and management
Place: Room SB03

Other activities in Session 4 – Economic performance and management
17:15 h. to 17:35 h.Oral Communication

Influence of tourism marketing plans on demand behavior: the case of the balearic islands

Speaker: Miguel Trias Vilar, Universitat de les Illes Balears
17:55 h. to 18:15 h.Oral Communication

Challenges of tourism education in China

Speaker: Jaeyeon Choe, Macau University of Science and Technology