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Variety, Smart Specialization and Tourism Competitiveness

João Romão ()
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João Romão: Department of International Tourism and Business, Yasuda Women’s University, Hiroshima 7300000, Japan

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 14, 1-13

Abstract: This work analyzes how regional tourism dynamics (demand, supply and specialization) and innovation performance may influence tourism competitiveness. The novelty and originality of the analysis is the inclusion of aspects related to the sectorial priority options defined within smart specialization strategies in European regions as potential explanatory factors. By using a panel data model and focusing on regions where tourism is one of the priority sectors for Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS3, 2014–2020), the results reveal positive impacts of tourism demand, supply and specialization on the value added produced by tourism activities. Moreover, immaterial aspects related to the qualification of the regional labor force and innovation dynamics (investment in research in development) also exert a positive impact on tourism competitiveness. The novel results obtained regarding the impacts of smart specialization strategies show a high potential of the tourism sector to benefit from geographical, cultural and institutional forms of proximity. The results also suggest that knowledge externalities arising from interactions with both related or unrelated sectors—by exploiting interactions and connectivity with sectors with both low and high cognitive distances—may emerge.

Keywords: relatedness; proximity; network; innovation; specialization; panel data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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