In conclusion, the main argument of our lecture is that national wealth is not created by factor endowments, but is created by a destination's choices.
The lecture consists of two sections. The first section discusses the theoretical underpinnings of the competitiveness theory as it applies to the tourism development debate.
The second section focuses on the empirical testing of four propositions derived from the tourism competitiveness literature:
Proposition 1: Small island destinations engage in fierce competition.
Proposition 2: Simplicity rather than richness is a more useful benchmarking criterion for small island destinations.
Proposition 3: Non-price competition is the most significant driver of destination competitiveness.
Proposition 4: Tourism competitiveness increases the quality of life for the destinations' citizens.
Our lecture indicates five important implications regarding competitiveness:
Competitiveness is a useful concept and tool both from theoretical and practical perspectives.
Our analysis also suggests that non-price competition is a smart strategy for destinations
Tourist goods should therefore be the result of the ability of a destination to connect supply-side activities with demand-side value creation in order to satisfy the customers through fulfilling “memorable experiences” which may affect the quality of life for the population.
Small island destinations are well served in using performance indicators because they provide guidelines, they correct for inefficient management directions, and they promote positive effects of competition amongst destinations.
The previous suggestion implies that we should shift our management attention away from indicators such as arrivals, revenues and market share to real spending per arrival as our performance indicator.