Destination competitiveness in tourism

RO: Numărul destinațiilor turistice de pretutindeni este într-o continuă creștere. Pe măsură ce destinațiile tind către o cotă de piață mai mare, competiția din domeniul turismului internațional crește.

EN: The number of tourism destinations worldwide is constantly growing. As destinations strive for bigger market shares, there is great competition on the international tourism market. Competitiveness is increasingly being seen as a critical influence on the performance of tourism destinations in competitive world markets.

According to a basic principle in the philosophy of science, definitions are neither true nor false. But, they appear to be more or less useful by contributing to formulating hypotheses of varying precision and informational content. The debate on destination competitiveness (DC) within tourism research has not yet settled on a widely accepted concept of DC. A common interpretation is the one of Ritchie and Crouch: “What makes a tourism destination truly competitive is its ability to increase tourism expenditure, to increasingly attract visitors while providing them with satisfying, memorable experiences..”, not forgetting to pay respect to nature and have common sense.

It’s not sufficient that only the destination presents favorable and competitive factors, but also the services part. Nowadays a lot of people tend to go more towards reasonable priced services than exotic places that suffer major qualitative problems.

In tourism industry, competition among territorial areas is usually not centered on the single aspects of the tourist product (environmental resources, transportation, tourism services, hospitality, etc.), but on the tourist destination as an integrated set of facilities for the tourist. So in this full of sharks market, the role of a good destination manager should be understanding how tourism destination competitiveness can be enhanced and sustained. So, a thorough analysis of the strong and weak points is imperious. Identifying competitors and determining the destination advantages and disadvantages relative to competitors is an integral part of successful marketing management of tourist destinations.

During the past couple of decades, the research body on tourism destination competitiveness has grown. General models of destination competitiveness have been developed with an extensive list of determinants and attributes.

A vast amount of literature has developed on destination planning and support action for tourism, but surprisingly, there is only a limited number of applied studies on supply strategies of tourist areas, such as the marketing of the destination or the identification of an ‘experience supplier’.

 

To understand the competitiveness of tourist destinations, all the basic determinants that constitute competitiveness should be considered. Resource wealth is not enough for the tourism industry’s success. The tourism vision, the sharing of that vision among all stakeholders, having managers who develop an appropriate management and marketing strategy and a government that supports the tourism industry with an efficient tourism policy may be more important. The most significant is the tourism sector’s ability to add value to its products. While natural endowment is clearly a very important factor of competitiveness in the tourism industry, it alone represents an opportunity for tourism development.

Munteanu Sergiu