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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Benković, Andreja & Mejía, Juan Felipe, 2008. "Tourism as a driver of economic development: The Colombian experience," Violette Reihe: Schriftenreihe des Promotionsschwerpunkts "Globalisierung und Beschäftigung" 26/2008, University of Hohenheim, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Evangelisches Studienwerk.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:hohpro:y2008i26p1-36
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gundlach, Erich, 1994. "Demand Bias as an Explanation for Structural Change," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 249-267.
    2. Andrea Mervar & James E. Payne, 2007. "An Analysis of Foreign Tourism Demand for Croatian Destinations: Long-Run Elasticity Estimates," Working Papers 0701, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb.
    3. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
    4. Pugno, Maurizio, 2006. "The service paradox and endogenous economic growth," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 99-115, January.
    5. 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 409-440, December.
    6. M. Thea Sinclair, 1998. "Tourism and economic development: A survey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(5), pages 1-51.
    7. Allan G. B. Fisher, 1939. "Production, Primary, Secondary And Tertiary," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 15(1), pages 24-38, June.
    8. Mark Rogers, 2004. "Absorptive capability and economic growth: how do countries catch-up?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 577-596, July.
    9. Jonathan Temple & Paul A. Johnson, 1998. "Social Capability and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 965-990.
    10. Baumol, William J & Blackman, Sue Anne Batey & Wolff, Edward N, 1985. "Unbalanced Growth Revisited: Asymptotic Stagnancy and New Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 806-817, September.
    11. Tiago Neves Sequeira & Carla Campos, 2005. "International Tourism and Economic Growth: a Panel Data Approach," Working Papers 2005.141, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    12. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • L88 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Government Policy
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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