Statistical analysis of tourism destination competitiveness

Attilio Gardini


The growing relevance of tourism industry for modern advanced economies has increased the interest among researchers and policy makers in the statistical analysis of destination competitiveness. In this paper we outline a new model of destination competitiveness based on sound theoretical grounds and we develop a statistical test of the model on sample data based on Italian tourist destination decisions and choices. Our model focuses on the tourism decision process which starts from the demand schedule for holidays and ends with the choice of a specific holiday destination. The demand schedule is a function of individual preferences and of destination positioning, while the final decision is a function of the initial demand schedule and the information concerning services for accommodation and recreation in the selected destinations. Moreover, we extend previous studies that focused on image or attributes (such as climate and scenery) by paying more attention to the services for accommodation and recreation in the holiday destinations. We test the proposed model using empirical data collected from a sample of 1.200 Italian tourists interviewed in 2007 (October - December). Data analysis shows that the selection probability for the destination included in the consideration set is not proportional to the share of inclusion because the share of inclusion is determined by the brand image, while the selection of the effective holiday destination is influenced by the real supply conditions. The analysis of Italian tourists preferences underline the existence of a latent demand for foreign holidays which points out a risk of market share reduction for Italian tourism system in the global market. We also find a snow ball effect which helps the most popular destinations, mainly in the northern Italian regions.

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1973-2201/3527