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Edited by Larry Dwyer and Peter Forsyth
Chapter 20: Tourism Destination Specialisation
20 Tourism destination specialisation Mondher Sahli Introduction Tourism and travel-related services are among the most important tradable sectors. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) predicts that they will account for 10.3 per cent of world GDP, employ about 234.3 million people worldwide and generate 11.8 per cent of total world export receipts of goods and services in 2006 (WWTC 2006). Furthermore, given that there are now more than 750 million international travellers per year, tourism and travel-related sectors have become dynamic sources of income and a major strategic sector for development in many countries, especially in the global South. OECD countries still dominate international tourism. The main areas remain Europe and the US, with some new inﬂux from East Asia and the Paciﬁc. Almost half of international tourists come from six OECD countries which are also among the world’s top ten tourism earners/spenders. Some of these destinations appear to be coping with increased competition quite well, whereas others are struggling. In many cases it is the world’s traditional destinations which have awakened to the reality that their tourism market share is declining. In certain cases this situation has been cushioned by the fact that international tourism is still growing strongly (Crouch and Ritchie 1999). This chapter examines the concepts of external competitiveness and comparative advantage in terms of its application to tourism destinations. It shows how we arrived at our particular deﬁnitions of these concepts and why we believe that they are important in understanding the competitiveness...
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