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Upgrading a tourism cluster: The case of Eilat


  • Benner, Maximilian
  • Michael, Dollinger
  • Elisa, Gliesner
  • Rouven, Pelz


Tourism clusters have attracted a good deal of attention in literature, probably due to the fact that (mass) tourism exhibits a strong tendency to agglomerate. A major challenge for many tourism clusters is how to upgrade their competitiveness in the wake of market change. While the 1950s and 1960s saw the rise of standardized mass tourism particularly in Mediterranean countries, driven by the Keynesian welfare state and Fordist paradigm as well as rising wealth in European markets, since the late 1970s a more differentiated and individualized pattern of tourism demand has emerged. Since then, tourists’ preferences have become much more diverse and led to a roll-back of the previously dominant form of standardized, deterritorialized mass (package) tourism. This diversity is somewhat reminiscent of the notion of flexible specialization known from the literature on industrial change. In the wake of these changes, tourism clusters that came into being during the age of Fordist mass tourism have to devise strategies to differentiate their offer and to adapt their product to new market demands. Eilat in Israel is one of those tourism clusters that exhibit salient features of Fordist mass tourism struggling to find their place in a more differentiated international tourism market. This study takes a look at the structure of the Eilat tourism cluster and suggests a trajectory towards differentiation and upgrading to enhance Eilat’s long-term competitiveness as an international tourist destination.

Suggested Citation

  • Benner, Maximilian & Michael, Dollinger & Elisa, Gliesner & Rouven, Pelz, 2017. "Upgrading a tourism cluster: The case of Eilat," MPRA Paper 81175, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:81175

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael E. Porter, 2000. "Location, Competition, and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 14(1), pages 15-34, February.
    2. Ergas, Yaron & Felsenstein, Daniel, 2012. "Airport relocation and expansion and the estimation of derived tourist demand: The case of Eilat, Israel," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 54-61.
    3. Glückler, Johannes & Lenz, Regina, 2016. "How institutions moderate the effectiveness of regional policy: A framework and research agenda," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 36, pages 255-277.
    4. Michael Porter, 1994. "The Role of Location in Competition," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 35-40.
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    More about this item


    tourism; tourism development; upgrading; regional development; Eilat; Israel;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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