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Tourism as a driver of economic development: The Colombian experience

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  • Benković, Andreja
  • Mejía, Juan Felipe

Abstract

The current paper analyzes the importance and potentials of the tourism sector for economic development. It is divided into four major parts. After a short introduction, section two presents some theoretical insights into the topic of economic development. Commenting on the most relevant components of the catching-up theory by Abramovitz (1986) and the structural change theory by Baumol (1967) and others, it could be realized that growth and the accompanying structural changes in the distribution of employment and GDP have their sources in the sector industry. But at the moment of incorporating the demand side explanation of structural change, the service sectors offer growth potentials as well. Furthermore, the basic characteristics and importance of the tourism sector for economic development and employment are emphasized, examining the so-called 'social capabilities' and the innovation potential within the process of economic growth of any nation. A short survey of literature concerning the contribution of this sector to economic growth makes clear that tourism should be considered not just from the perspective of the benefits, but also from the costs associated with it. Section three provides an analysis of the economic impact of tourism in a developing country, namely Colombia, based on time-series analysis and data gathered supported on the 'Tourism Satellite Account' Methodology. Some relevant indicators produced by the World Economic Forum through its 'Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report', are also evaluated. Finally, some conclusions are drawn with respect to the potentialities, as well as the challenges identified for the Colombian case. --

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Paper provided by Promotionsschwerpunkt "Globalisierung und Beschaeftigung" in its series Violette Reihe Arbeitspapiere with number 26/2008.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:hohpro:y2008i26p1-36

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Keywords: structural change; service sectors; social capabilities; economic development; tourism; Colombia;

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  1. Baumol, William J. & Batey Blackman, Sue Anne & Wolff, Edward N., 1984. "Unbalanced Growth Revisited: Asymptotic Stagnancy and New Evidence," Working Papers, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University 84-02, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Pugno, Maurizio, 2006. "The service paradox and endogenous economic growth," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 99-115, January.
  3. Jonathan Temple & Paul A. Johnson, 1998. "Social Capability And Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 965-990, August.
  4. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
  5. Allan G. B. Fisher, 1939. "Production, Primary, Secondary And Tertiary," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 15(1), pages 24-38, 06.
  6. Andrea Mervar & James E. Payne, 2007. "An Analysis of Foreign Tourism Demand for Croatian Destinations: Long-Run Elasticity Estimates," Working Papers, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb 0701, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb.
  7. Elfring, Tom, 1989. "New Evidence on the Expansion of Service Employment in Advanced Economies," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 35(4), pages 409-40, December.
  8. Mark Rogers, 2004. "Absorptive capability and economic growth: how do countries catch-up?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 577-596, July.
  9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  10. Tiago Neves Sequeira & Carla Campos, 2005. "International Tourism and Economic Growth: a Panel Data Approach," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2005.141, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  11. Gundlach, Erich, 1994. "Demand Bias as an Explanation for Structural Change," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 249-67.
  12. M. Thea Sinclair, 1998. "Tourism and economic development: A survey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(5), pages 1-51.
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