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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Destination competitiveness revisited – What it takes for being successful

Published: May 28, 2019


Janosch Untersteiner, MCI Management Center Innsbruck; Bernd Frederik Reitsamer, MCI Management Center Innsbruck


Destination competitiveness; Destination performance; Destination marketing


Destination competitiveness (DC) has stimulated great interest among scholars and policy makers over the past two decades. Empirical investigations of its driving forces, however, are rare. In line with comparative and competitive advantage theories, we thus test the inventory of DC drivers by Dwyer and Kim (2003) in a self-administered online survey in Tyrol, Austria. Key stakeholders (n=320) from the supply-side were asked to evaluate DC drivers regarding their importance. Findings suggest that suppliers consider a destination’s safety and security, natural resources, infrastructure, pricing levels and competitive environment as most crucial for its competitiveness. Notably, DMOs tend to take a “rosy view” of DC and attach greater importance to most DC drivers than other stakeholders, particularly to destination management. Stakeholders in leadership positions, by contrast, view DC through a visionary lens and ascribe greater importance to global environment, service quality and infrastructure. Implications for destination research and management are offered.