Academic journal article Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends

Competitiveness and Complex Impact Indicators in the Hungarian Tourism Regions

Academic journal article Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends

Competitiveness and Complex Impact Indicators in the Hungarian Tourism Regions

Article excerpt

A study into the competitiveness of the tourism regions raises a rather high number of questions. One of such matters is the basis of comparison to which a region is considered to be competitive or non-competitive? In this respect, several approaches can be applied: a region can be compared either to the national average, to the EU-27 average or to the average of the countries accessed the EU in 2004. A different system of criteria, obviously, could have raised again several methodological problems, thus, it was considered to be the most appropriate to confront the fact of competitive advantage or disadvantage to the Hungarian context, consequently the basis for comparison was represented by the value of the Hungarian national average. Additionally, in the study of the level of development in Hungary, in many cases, an average of rural areas (i.e. excluding the capital Budapest) is calculated to which an example will also be found in this paper.

The other problem was represented by, during the calculation of competitiveness, the estimation of the tourism regions' level of development based on which the factors of competitiveness were attempted to be defined. Theoretically, it is possible to define the level of development by applying one of the complex development indicators; however alternatively, estimation on the most widespread indicator, i.e. on GDP of the tourism regions can also be performed. In this analysis, the authors found the second one more applicable, thus at first such related calculations will be introduced.

The most important one-dimensional indicator of the economic performance or, in general, of the level of development or backwardness, as well as an index of key importance in experts' analyses and from the point of view of regional policy and the distribution of subsidies for regional development is the estimated value of the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita both in the European Union and in Hungary. Thus, the authors of this paper intend to estimate the GDP of tourism regions in Hungary (Fig. 1) and to have both by this and its specific value, the level of their development compared (Table 1, Table 2).

The system of tourism regions in Hungary was established in 1998. During the setting up of these regions, the NUTS2 level of European planning-statistical regions was used as a reference. However, the boundaries of these European regions were modified when the tourism regions were established, as the latter made use of existing and coherent holiday districts. As a result, nine tourism regions were established by altering the seven planning-statistical regions. The most important difference between the NUTS2 and resulting tourism regions is that the Lake Balaton Tourism Region, being the second most relevant destination after the Budapest-Central Danube Region, was created from parts of the Central and South Transdanubian and West Pannonian planning-statistical regions. Additionally, the Lake Tisza Tourism Region was created out of settlements in the NUTS2 Northern Hungarian and Northern Great Plain Regions. Though the smallest of such regions, the Lake Tisza Tourism Region underlined how its touristic character differentiated it from its surroundings. Finally, another important difference occurred in the Budapest-Central Danube Region, which includes not only the NUTS2 level Central Hungary Region, but further incorporates settlements from the Danube Bend Resort District in the Northern Hungarian and Central Transdanubian Regions (Fig 1, Fig 2).

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Competitiveness in the tourism regions

On the potential methods for the measurement of regional competitiveness, a number of remarkable studies have been carried out in recent years of which results are applied in this present paper (Regional tourism estimations were conducted in several countries of the world (Konttinen 2006; Zhang 2005a, 2005b; Jones, Munday, Roberts 2003; London Development Agency 2008). …

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