The purpose of this paper is to address a new method to evaluate the competitiveness of tourist destinations based on competitive performance from the consumers’ perspective. The main objective is to assess the sources of relative strength and weakness perceived in a destination, and to evaluate its performance vis-à-vis to the main competitors identified by tourists through measurement indexes.
The strengths and weaknesses of the focal destination were identified by plotting 12 tourism-specific variables (attractors) and 12 business-related variables in importance-performance matrix (IPA) grids. The set of destinations identified as “the main competitors” were built according to the frequency they were mentioned, and the indicators of competitiveness were estimated by averaging variables representing dimensions identified by exploratory-confirmatory factor analysis. The variables were aggregated into dimensions to permit comparisons in relation to the main competitors.
The results suggest that tourism-specific variables converge to “tourist attractions” and “conviviality,” and that business-related variables converge into “accessibility,” “infrastructure” and “macrostructure.” The competitiveness against competition was evaluated twice: by using an IPA grid to evaluate competition against “all others,” and by comparing the factors of performance across the most cited competitors. The results show that the focal destination surpasses most of its main competitors in conviviality, but has some deficiencies in tourist attractions, and that dimensions representing the business-related variables fit in the middle.
The authors acknowledge that competitive performance, used as surrogate for competitiveness, is fairly limited once it does not consider the supply side potential forces that also influence the destination competitiveness (DC) at large. But although limited to the demand side, the proxy used to assess (DC) is in accordance with previous literature.
The results have high value to DMO managers, especially to those ones involved in developing tourism attractions.
This research advances over previous works: by identifying the nearest competitors of a destination; and by representing the competitive distance between the focal destination and its main competitors.
This study was partially funded by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – CNPq, and by the Foundation for Supporting Research in the State of Rio Grande do Sul – FAPERGS.
Añaña, E., Rodrigues, R. and Flores, L. (2018), "Competitive performance as a substitute for competiveness measurement in tourism destinations: an integrative study", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 207-219. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJTC-07-2017-0035Download as .RIS
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