The Baltic Region

2020 Vol. 12 №3

Transnational tourist destination management: a case study of the Baltic sea region

Abstract

The issue of tourist destination management has been widely reflected in scientific literature. However, transnational destinations, i.e. those that are located on the territory of several countries, have not been given enough attention. The development of transnational destinations can occur provided there is close cooperation among key stakeholders. In the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) conditions for effective cooperation were created at the end of the 20th century when integration processes intensified. Currently, the BSR is the first macro-region of the European Union to implement a transnational strategy, in which tourism is recognised as a development priority. Creating an effective tourist destination management system has become a key challenge in this process. This article aims to identify and critically analyse the concept of transnational tourist destination management. Another goal is to identify the changing determinants of tourism management in the BSR and to explore relations between key stakeholders. To this end, we conducted a review of literature on destination management. We carried out a critical analysis of secondary sources (documents, information materials, the Internet resources) and supplemented the review with our insights from participatory observation. We also obtained additional information from interviews. Three models of destination management were identified: marketing-oriented, planning-oriented, and governance-oriented. Our research shows that the evolution of destination management is characterised by a gradual increase in the participation of public entities. This is related to the marginalisation of the tourism industry, which resulted in a systematic decrease in state funding for maintaining destination management structures. Acquiring the European Union funds from the European Territorial Cooperation Programs has become a partial but not entirely effective solution to this problem.

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Assessing competitiveness of the Baltic states in tourism

Abstract

Tourism competitiveness is a basic requirement for a country’s presence in the international tourism market. A comprehensive and systematic assessment of tourism competitiveness and comparisons with other states make it possible to identify its structure, strengths and weaknesses. Assessing competitiveness is a live issue in the Baltic region, where tourism is an important part of the economy and a factor in improving living standards. This study advances the hypothesis that the methodology developed by the author will aid in assessing the tourism competitiveness of the Baltic region states. The research aims to assess the competitiveness of the Baltic tourism industries. It reviews methodologies for assessing the competitiveness of tourism industries and presents an original nine-step methodology for comprehensive assessment thereof. The aggregate index comprises four sub-indices (conditions, infrastructure, accessibility, and attractiveness), 22 components, and over 100 indicators. The calculations use a wide range of data sources. The results are displayed in charts and graphs. The Baltic region states are seen to have a high (Germany) or relatively high level of competitiveness. All the countries perform well on tourism infrastructure development and conditions for doing business in tourism. The Baltic reign states rank differently on the affordability of tourism. Germany is the regional leader in terms of attractiveness, followed by the Russian Federation, Poland, Norway, and Sweden. The analysis showed that Russia lagged behind its competitors in travel formalities, the climate for small and medium businesses, and travel safety; infrastructure, statistical monitoring, and promotion required attention as well. In the conclusion, the proposed methodology and the results of its testing are analysed.

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