Title: Components of destination competitiveness. The case of small tourism destinations in Italy

Authors: Gianluca Goffi; Marco Cucculelli

Addresses: Marche Polytechnic University, Piazzale Martelli 8, 60100 Ancona – Italy ' Marche Polytechnic University, Piazzale Martelli 8, 60100 Ancona – Italy

Abstract: The paper operationalises the conceptual model of Richie and Crouch (2000) by identifying seven key determinants and a set of indicators of destination competitiveness. The aim of the paper is to test whether and to what extent the set of indicators can help explaining the competitiveness of a tourism destination. The model is tested on a unique dataset of 610 small Italian destinations. Principal component analysis (PCA) is applied on the responses to the items measuring destination competitiveness. The output is reasonably similar to the corresponding elements of the model. PCA shows the importance of those elements related to sustainability that affect tourism policy-making and destination management processes. PCA also highlights the role of the core attractors - natural and cultural resources, events and gastronomy - thus suggesting that different marketing strategies may be implemented to reach different target consumer groups. Finally, the findings indicate that the demand factor needs to be considered in the explanation of tourist destination competitiveness.

Keywords: destination competitiveness; small destinations; tourism policy; destination management; Italy; principal component analysis; PCA; tourism destinations; natural resources; cultural resources; events; gastronomy; marketing strategy; target consumer groups; demand factor.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTP.2014.068035

International Journal of Tourism Policy, 2014 Vol.5 No.4, pp.296 - 326

Available online: 10 Mar 2015 *

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