Different tourists to different destinations. Evidence from spatial interaction models

TitleDifferent tourists to different destinations. Evidence from spatial interaction models
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMarrocu, E, Paci, R

Given the importance of tourism as a catalyst for local economic growth, the identification of tourist flows determinants is also important. This paper reports results from an econometric study of tourism flows for the 107 Italian provinces based on origin–destination (OD) spatial interaction models. In addition to distance, the set of explanatory variables includes both pull and push characteristics to assess their relative roles in determining the attractiveness of the provinces to tourists. Hence measures are incorporated for income, density, accessibility, and natural, cultural and recreational attractions. The main results indicate the importance of spatial dependency induced by neighbouring provinces as both origins of, and destinations for trips, a factor commonly overlooked by previous contributions relying on the gravity specification. Inter-neighbouring interactive effects are thus important, and most explanatory variables exhibit the expected effect, with distance and population density showing a negative impact on tourists' decisions when choosing a specific destination, while income, accessibility and attractions are crucial determinants of tourism flows.

Keywordsamenities, italy, neighbouring effects, product differentiation, spatial origin–destination interaction models, tourism flows