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