Destination Unknown. Is there any Economics Beyond Tourism Areas?

Guido Candela, Paolo Figini


In recent years, several papers have been focussing on various aspects of tourism destinations. The destination is a central issue within tourism studies, embodying in one single concept all the specific and problematic features of tourism, such as its systemic nature in which “space” plays a fundamental role.

In this paper we argue that tourism economics shapes itself as an independent discipline within applied economics through the analysis of destinations. Firstly, destinations are neither microeconomic agents nor macroeconomic aggregates, but territorial systems which supply at least one tourism product (a bundle of goods and services) able to satisfy the complex needs of tourism demand.

Secondly, the economic analysis of destinations can identify two specific theorems, the love of variety theorem and the coordination theorem which allow to interpret the tourism destination as a particular type of economic district, which shares some of the features of the industrial district and some others of the cultural district.

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