The aim of the study is to contribute to the body of knowledge with a different and richer approach, by evaluating the competitiveness of the Cappadocia Region, which has a culture-oriented single or limited product variety, with a comparative and holistic approach from the perspective of visitors and stakeholders.
This research, designed on the basis of the Cappadocia Region to make original and rich contributions to the literature on destination competitiveness, has the characteristics of a field study based on collecting and analyzing raw data through scales. For this purpose, research was conducted with 401 visitors and 277 tourism stakeholders. Data was analyzed using t-tests to compare two groups and the two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to compare more than two groups. Cronbach's alpha analysis, nomological validity and a pilot test were conducted for validity and reliability. In addition, descriptive statistics and normality test were used in addition to the exploratory factor analyses.
Because of the research, it was seen that the competitiveness perceptions of the participants in the region differed and that the region has many strengths such as natural beauties, accommodation facilities and a positive image. However, it was determined that the competitiveness perceptions of visitors who have more touristic experiences in the region have increased in parallel with their touristic experiences. It was established that the competitiveness perceptions of the stakeholders who have comprehensive knowledge of the managerial problems and the destination competitiveness components of the region are generally lower than the visitors.
This study provides some practical implications for touristic destinations based on the research area. In order for destinations to survive in a fierce competitive environment and strengthen their competitive position, it is very important to analyze and evaluate consumers' needs and requests correctly, reveal existing differences, and use resources effectively. In addition to strengthening the image of the destination and adopting a sustainable and innovative approach, the integrated tour programs that offer touristic activities in nearby cities can be diversified with nature and adventure activities.
It is seen that studies that have been conducted with a comparative and holistic approach with data obtained from both visitors and stakeholders are quite limited. In addition, most of these studies have been conducted on destinations that are widely preferred such as mass tourism but which are less competitive than alternative tourism examples. Therefore, this study has a broad perspective and strong implications for destination competitiveness.
Funding: This work was supported by the Erciyes University Scientific Research Projects Unit [SDK-2017-7653 coded project].Notes: This study was produced from doctoral thesis titled 'Destination Competitiveness Analysis of the Cappadocia Region as a Touristic Destination' and the article 'Destination Competitiveness Analysis: The Case of Cappadocia Region' published in Anatolia: Tourism Research Journal 31(2) is a continuation of the study.Declaration of interest: The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.
Akin, M.H., Ozturk, Y. and Karamustafa, K. (2021), "A comparative perspective on destination competitiveness through visitors' and stakeholders' perceptions in the region of Cappadocia", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-01-2021-0015
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