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International Handbook on the Economics of Tourism

Edited by Larry Dwyer and Peter Forsyth

This highly accessible and comprehensive Handbook presents a cutting edge discussion of the state of tourism economics and its likely directions in future research. Leading researchers in the field explore a wide range of topics including: demand and forecasting, supply, transport, taxation and infrastructure, evaluation and application for policy-making. Each chapter includes a discussion of its relevance and importance to the tourism economics literature, an overview of its main contributions and themes, a critical evaluation of existing literature and an outline of issues for further conceptual and applied research.
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Chapter 19: Destination Competitiveness

Geoffrey I. Crouch and J.R. Brent Ritchie


Geoffrey I. Crouch and J.R. Brent Ritchie Introduction Products are a central component of the economics of any industry. In the tourism industry, there are many different types of products. Examples include an airline flight; accommodation in a three-star hotel; entry to the top of the Eiffel Tower; shopping products, crafts and souvenirs; a day at a theme park; a meal in a restaurant; skiing lessons; renting a car; a guided tour of a city; even now a trip into space; and so on – an almost endless list. Each of these are examples of commercial products – mostly services but some involving tangible goods – which are produced or operated by commercial enterprises. But tourists also consume or experience other activities and products as well, such as swimming at a beach; a stroll in a park; a free visit to a public monument or museum; a drive along a scenic coastal road; feeding animals in a national park; or climbing a mountain. These further examples are just as much a part of the tourist’s experience as the commercial products listed above. Any trip or vacation, of course, consists of a combination of many of each type of product. Thus, overarching all of these individual commercial and non-commercial goods and services, the tourism destination constitutes the principal element of the tourism product that connects every separate product component to create the overall tourism experience. The tourist is therefore faced with the choice of selecting from among many possible touristic experiences, each...

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