Sources of Competitiveness in Tourist Local Systems
At the end of the XIX Century, Marshall described the existence of some concentrations of small and medium enterprises specialised in a specific production activity in certain districts of some industrial English cities. Starting from his contribute, Italian scholars have paid particular attention to this local system of production coined by Marshall under the term industrial district. In other countries, different but related territorial models have played a central role as the milieu or the geographical industrial clusters. Recently, these models have been extended to non-industrial fields like culture, rural activities and tourism. In this text, we explore the extension of these territorial models to the study of tourist activities in Italy, using a framework that can be easily applied to other countries or regions. The paper is divided in five sections. In the first one, we propose a review of the territorial models applied to tourism industry. In the second part, we construct a tourist filiere and we apply a methodology for the identification of local systems through GIS tools. Thus, taxonomy of the Italian Tourist Local Systems is presented. In the third part, we discuss about the sources of competitiveness of these Tourist Local Systems. In the forth section, we test a spatial econometrics model regarding different kinds of Italian Tourist Local Systems (rural systems, arts cities, tourist districts) in order to measure external economies and territorial networks. Finally, conclusions and policy implications are exposed.
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