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Sources of Competitiveness in Tourist Local Systems


  • Francesco Capone


  • Rafael Boix



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.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Capone & Rafael Boix, 2005. "Sources of Competitiveness in Tourist Local Systems," ERSA conference papers ersa05p695, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa05p695

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Henderson, Vernon & Kuncoro, Ari & Turner, Matt, 1995. "Industrial Development in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1067-1090, October.
    2. Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-1152, December.
      • Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Ellison, Glenn & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 889-927, October.
    4. Francesco Capone, 2004. "Regional competitiveness in tourist local systems," ERSA conference papers ersa04p627, European Regional Science Association.
    5. de Lucio, Juan J. & Herce, Jose A. & Goicolea, Ana, 2002. "The effects of externalities on productivity growth in Spanish industry," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 241-258, March.
    6. Edward M. Bergman & Edward J. Feser, . "Industrial and regional Clusters: Concepts and Comparative Applications," Wholbk, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University, number 19 edited by Randall Jackson, November.
    7. Luciana Lazzeretti, 2003. "City of art as a High Culture local system and cultural districtualization processes: the cluster of art restoration in Florence," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 635-648, September.
    8. Giacomo Becattini & Marco Bellandi & Gabi Del Ottati & Fabio Sforzi, 2003. "From Industrial Districts to Local Development," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2884.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cristina Santos & Alexandre Almeida & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2008. "Searching for clusters in tourism. A quantitative methodological proposal," FEP Working Papers 293, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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