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Myths of top tourism countries, tourism contribution and competitiveness

Tanja Mihalic (Faculty of Economics, University Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Julio Aramberri (Hoa Sen University, Saigon, Vietnam)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 16 November 2015




This paper aims to deal with the myths of tourism in regard to the tourism available data and their mythical interpretation in relation to top tourism countries, tourism economic contribution and competitiveness and to argue that there is yet no such thing as globalisation of tourism demand. For many decades, tourism researchers have tried to present the true tourism situation, yet – seduced by the available tourism data and rankings – they might have failed to produce the accurate or generally true description.


This paper uses a transformative research approach which aims to break existing scientific paradigms in the field of tourism knowledge. Thus, this paper challenges the ever going elaboration of established tourism meanings by asking whether tourism understanding of its development, rankings and competitiveness is justified under the present circumstances.


The paper presented some existing anomalies in the understanding of tourism global system which are based on existing data, methodologies, geo-political structure of sovereign states and tourism research values. This implies a limited applicability of current tourism understandings to a universal level.

Research limitations/implications

For the time being, the discussion on accuracy of the authors’ tourism knowledge remains under the notion of “tourism myths” and the doors for more research on what new approaches, values and methodologies would enable tourism researchers to obtain the accurate tourism rankings, remain wide open.

Practical implications

This paper can mobilise for improvements in data gathering, accessibility, interpretation and methodology to improve tourism policy, planning and management. In this regard, the paper mobilises for “cosmopolitan responsibility” for tourism surveys and understandings which will provide tourism researchers with a value system that meets the globalised tourism development.

Social implications

This paper shows the possible impact on tourism knowledge, new tourism paradigms and then on tourism policy and management.


This paper’s originality is in opening up new approaches to understanding what tourism researchers a while ago would never have considered relevant.



Mihalic, T. and Aramberri, J. (2015), "Myths of top tourism countries, tourism contribution and competitiveness", Tourism Review, Vol. 70 No. 4, pp. 276-288.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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