Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED)


Core competence: Tourism policy and evaluation

Tourism policy is supposed to correct for market failures while reflecting the public interest in the industry. The latter is especially the case in regions where tourism is a major economic sector. 

The promotion of tourism as a sustainable (economic) development is a core challenge of tourism policy. Globalization adds to this challenge with increasing international travelling. The high mobility of tourists fosters competition among touristic destinations putting high demands on their competitiveness.

While Switzerland focused on a regular and steady growth of the tourism economy in the sense of a strategic economic sector in the early 1980s, the 1990s askes for new directions in the policy as overnight stays began to decline, and negative impacts as urban sprawl became evident. Among these new directions, there was a strong promotion of Switzerland in the international market and efforts to improve the local economic conditions.

Our primary interest lies in the evaluation of tourism policies, political strategies, and programs on regional, cantonal, and federal level.

What is the effect of cantonal tourism marketing? A case study of the canton of Bern

In 2012, the canton of Bern established the marketing organization BE! Tourismus AG. We quantitatively analyze the effects of the marketing on the guests and qualitatively analyze the effects on the stakeholders.

The primary goal of the BE! Tourismus AG is an increased visibility on the market. In the study, we therefore quantify the overnight stays and sales caused by its marketing activities. Figure 1 summarizes the concept of the analysis:

CRED: Tourismuspolitik und Evaluationen / Tourism policy and evaluation
Figure 1: Concept of the analysis

  1. Concept: Analysis of the goals and vision of the BE!Tourismus AG.
  2. Input: Analysis of the process together with stakeholders
  3. Output: Marketing (e.g., commercials) that target guests directly or are available for destinations’ marketing mixes
  4. Outcome: The marketing activities in step 3 should lead to higher visibility of the canton of Bern
  5. Impact: The higher visibility should translate into an increase of overnight stays and sales in the canton of Bern.

In this study, we show that the BE! Tourismus AG acts as an enabler for the destinations in the sense that the bundling of activities increases their bargaining power towards other outside stakeholders. Furthermore, the new organization generated direct value added for the destinations.

Current projects

Working title Research question
Tourism in Switzerland under the Tourism Area Life Cycle Model – identification and recommendations for tourism policy at different stages of tourism development

What is the effect of tourism policy during differnts stages of development of a destination?

Monika Bandi Tanner, Romina Weber, Justina Mayewska (Uni Poznan)
The impact of weather (forecasts) on skiing demand

What is the impact of weather (forecasts) on the skiing demand? Are there substitution effects between skiing areas or are the effects due to substitutions with other activities?
Monika Bandi Tanner, Marcus Roller, Pascal Troxler
Estimating the net-effects of events on overnight stays How can the net-effects of events on overnight stays (and other economic outcomes) be estimated?
Marcus Roller
Investments in the cable car industry
How do cable car companies interact strategically in their investment descisions? What is the effect of their investment descisions on the skiing demand?
Monika Bandi Tanner, Marcus Roller, Pascal Troxler