Academic journal article European Research Studies

Factors of Functioning and Development of Tourist Clusters at Regional Level

Academic journal article European Research Studies

Factors of Functioning and Development of Tourist Clusters at Regional Level

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Nowadays, tourism is viewed as a source of financial revenues of budgets of all levels; satisfying the needs of incoming tourists, tourist industry is a source of additional tax revenues, as means of increase of employment and quality of life of population, means of improving the health of population, basis for development of socio-cultural environment and propaganda of patriotic feelings of the youth, and a powerful tool of enlightenment and formation of moral platform of development of civil society. Despite the fact that over the recent years there was a substantial progress in systematization of existing statistical data on some or other aspects of tourism, the current statistical observation in Russia cannot fully cover all the range of tourism's influence on the economy of the country and its regions.

Under the modern conditions of development of tourism sector in Russia, the cluster approach is used more actively--it is capable of influencing positively the effective functioning of tourist industry. The Federal targeted program "Development of internal and incoming tourism in the Russian Federation (2011-2018)" supposes state support for 12 tourist clusters and projects for more regional tourist clusters without federal support. As a rule, this approach is based on formation and use of unique tourist product.

Dynamic development of tourism requires something more than unique tourist resources, convenient geographical location, and developed infrastructure. A huge role belongs also to economic and political environment, attitude of the state and local population to foreign tourists, foreign investment, and foreign way of life on the whole. That's why it is necessary to determine factors that hinder and factors that stipulate the development of cluster.

Tourist cluster plays a very important role in development of not only municipal entities, subjects of the RF, and federal districts, but the country on the whole, solving the problems of social nature, including the ones related to creation of additional jobs, problems of increase of quality of internal tourist products and services and increase of investment and tourist attractiveness of regions and the country.

2. Modern Approaches to Determination of Tourist Clusters

Development of theories and concepts of enterprises' placement on certain territory became a precondition for the formation of cluster concept. Its founder, M. Porter, defined cluster as groups of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, suppliers of services, and companies in corresponding spheres, which are concentrated geographically, and organizations in certain spheres, which are connected to their activities and which compete but at the same time conduct joint activities (Porter M. 2003). This treatment determines key attributes of a cluster: geographical localization, commonness of activities, and market orientation. Thus, classic treatment of cluster determines its understanding as a group of geographically close interconnected companies and connected organizations of certain sphere, which are characterized by commonness of activities and supplement each other (Porter M. 1993).

Thus, P.S. Rudneva views cluster as a group of localized interconnected companies, suppliers of equipment, components specialized services, infrastructure, R&D institutes, higher educational establishments, and other organizations which supplement each other and increase competitive advantages of particular companies and cluster on the whole (Rudneva P.S. 2007). T.V. Tsikhan thinks that in scientific and practical research and works it is advisable to use the definitions of cluster as regionally limited form of economic activity within related sectors, which are usually connected to some or other scientific establishments (R&D institutes, universities, etc.); vertical production chains, narrowly determined sectors, in which neighboring stages of production process create cluster core; industry sectors or groups of sectors, determined at a high level of aggregation (Thikhan T. …

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