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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|4378||2011||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6999 کلمه|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Tourism Management, Volume 32, Issue 4, August 2011, Pages 750–758
Firms productivity is crucially influenced by knowledge spillovers generated either by other firms located nearby or by direct contacts with consumers or by foreign demand in the case of traded products. In this paper we propose a new channel of efficiency-enhancing knowledge diffusion, which can be exploited by local firms to extract relevant information on consumer preferences: direct contacts with tourism flows. Tourists have the peculiar feature of being external consumers, who directly arrive to the destination region and this represents a remarkable advantage for the local enterprises, as the latter can exploit the new information and increase the overall efficiency level of the local economy. More specifically, we examine, within a spatial estimation framework, tourism flows as determinants of regional total factor productivity, controlling also for other intangible factors (such as human, social and technological capital) and for the degree of accessibility. We apply the analysis to a sample of 199 European regions belonging to the EU15 member countries, plus Switzerland and Norway. The empirical results show that tourism flows enhance regional efficiency and that a positive role is also played by intangible assets, infrastructures and spatial spillovers
In the modern economy knowledge is commonly recognized as the most important factor in increasing the competition among firms and regions. Thus, a growing attention has been devoted to the mechanisms through which firms acquire information on new products and processes in order to enhance their productivity. Following different theoretical approaches, the literature has identified and analysed several channels of knowledge diffusion. These mechanisms operate, often in a complementary way, through contacts with other firms and final consumers, both at the national and the international level. Knowledge can be conveyed via interactions with suppliers and competitors in the market, trade embodied in goods, foreign direct investment (FDI), direct contacts with customers in the local market and, in the case of exporter firms, in the external ones as well. It is worth remarking that all these mechanisms may present some shortcomings which, at least for some firms, may limit the possibility of acquiring valuable information. In particular, enterprises operating in closed narrow markets receive a limited amount of useful information because of the small number of localised firms and final consumers and this can negatively influence their efficiency levels. At the same time the fixed costs required to access larger markets prevents them from being exposed to international knowledge spillovers. In this paper we propose a new channel of knowledge diffusion which can be exploited by local firms to extract information on consumers’ preferences beneficial to enhance their efficiency: direct contacts with tourism flows. Tourists have the peculiar feature of being external consumers (national and international) who directly arrive to the destination region and this represents a remarkable advantage for the local enterprises. In this case even firms too small to afford the high fixed costs to enter the external markets can enjoy the information spillovers generated by tourist flows: this exposure produces beneficial effects on their productivity and consequently on the efficiency level of the whole local economy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the influence of tourism flows on the regional production efficiency level is formally analysed. At the same time the fact that tourists represent an important channel conveying new ideas which enhance the destination region performance is already part of the policy-makers understanding in Europe (European Commission, 2009). There are a number of newspaper stories and anecdotic evidence on how local firms have extracted information by direct contact with tourists. The wine sector in Sardinia, a small Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea, which recently specialised in tourism, provides a significant example. Wine production, based on excellent local varieties of grapes, has a long tradition but the product used to be mainly sold in the local market which was characterised by a preference for low-quality, very strong and thick red wine. On the contrary, incoming tourism flows directly revealed in the local market the international wine demand preference for less strong, smoother and more flavoursome wine; this information on international preferences gave rise, among the local producers, to a rapid change in their products. Today wine is one of the most important exported good in Sardinia and the continuous contact with tourism flows also functions as a significant marketing vehicle. More generally, the theoretical mechanisms linking tourists information spillovers to firms production efficiency are similar to those analysed in the economic literature on international trade (see the survey by Barba Navaretti & Tarr, 2000) and also in the management literature on customer knowledge (Joshi & Sharma, 2004). The hypothesis is that a local firm by means of continuous interactions with tourists acquires new knowledge related to demand for products and services which can be used to enhance its efficiency and competitiveness. An important feature is that, contrary to international trade, tourists convey information on external consumer preferences to local firms without additional costs for them. Hence, tourists can be seen as an important source of information for generating new products or for increasing the quality of the existing ones and, in general, for improving firms’ production efficiency. Consequently, at the aggregate level the presence of sizeable tourism flows brings about a higher level of productivity for the whole region. These mechanisms are reinforced if tourists come from relatively richer countries and, compared to local consumers, exhibit preferences for higher quality goods. For instance, Brau (2008) shows that tourists signal their preferences for high quality natural environment destinations and this may induce firms to adopt environmentally-friendly production processes, which are the ones that make intensive use of the most innovative, efficiency-enhancing production technologies. More specifically, the paper examines the effects of tourist arrivals on regional efficiency levels, measured by total factor productivity (TFP), controlling also for other specific regional characteristics (such as infrastructures, human, social and technological capital), which are also supposed to have a significant influence on TFP levels (Easterly & Levine, 2001). The analysis is carried out over the period 2002–2004 for a sample of 199 European regions belonging to member countries of the EU15 plus Switzerland and Norway. Moreover, we control for the presence of spatial association among regions by following a spatial model specification approach. The paper is organised as follows. Section 2 briefly reviews the existing literature. In Section 3 we present a detailed description of the data. In Section 4 the econometric issues are discussed, while the estimation results are presented in Section 5. Section 6 summarises the main findings and Section 7 outlines the future research projects.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper we provide empirical evidence supporting the new idea that tourists flows can function as a complementary channel in the diffusion of knowledge among firms and regions. It is by now well known that knowledge is one of the most important factors for increasing the competition among firms as it consents to acquire information on new products and processes and thus to enhance overall productivity. Following different theoretical approaches, the literature has identified and provided empirical evidence on a number of knowledge transmission channels, such as those based on direct contact with other firms and customers, both at the national and the international level, or those represented by trade or by foreign direct investments. However, such mechanisms present some shortcomings which may limit the possibility for some firms, particularly the small ones, to acquire valuable information and this prevents them from exploiting the expected positive effects on their efficiency levels. On the other hand, the information on external demand preferences conveyed by tourism flows is costless for local firms since tourists are external customers directly coming to the local market. Thus the frequent interactions with tourists allow local enterprises to acquire new information on demanded products and services, which can be used to increase their productivity and, consequently, the efficiency level of the whole region. These mechanisms are reinforced if tourists come from relatively richer countries and exhibit preferences for higher quality goods when compared to local consumers. The empirical evidence provided in this paper is based on the estimation of spatial lag models for the total factor productivity of 199 European regions, where tourist flows enter as a main explanatory variable, along with other tangible (public infrastructures) and intangible (social, human and technological capital) types of inputs. The empirical models show that tourism flows generate a positive and significant effect on the regional level of production efficiency. As a matter of fact, the estimated coefficient for tourism flows is comparable in size to that of regional technological capital, thus offering support to the novel idea that tourists represent an important channel in transmitting valuable information to the destination economies’ firms. The micro channel beneath this macro outcome is that local enterprises can acquire such additional information at no cost, and exploit it in order to improve their individual efficiency level and, consequently, the productivity of the local economy as a whole. The latter, in turn, generates beneficial effects also to neighbouring regions thanks to the presence of spatial spillovers. In order to identify a positive relationship between tourism flows and aggregate regional efficiency level it is not required a productivity increase for all enterprises. Indeed, the aggregate result can be produced by the efficiency enhancement of only a fraction of the local firms, those more capable of absorbing and exploiting the new information coming from tourists. In addition, a selection process can be generated so that only the most efficient firms survive in the local market.