that create a sense of regional identity.
- The region should contain an adequate tourism infrastructure to support
tourism development. Infrastructure includes utilities, roads, business ser-
vices, and other social services necessary to support tourism businesses and to
cater to tourists’ needs.
- The region should be larger than just one community or one attraction.
- The region should contain existing attractions or have the potential to support
the development of sufficient attractions to attract tourists.
- The region should be capable of supporting a tourism planning agency and
marketing initiatives to guide and encourage future development.
- The region should be accessible to a large population base. Accessibility may
be by road, scheduled air passenger service or cruise ships.
Elsewhere, Davidson and Mailtland (1997) outline the characteristics of a tourist
destination in the context of a single district, town, city or clearly defined and con-
tained coastal, rural or mountain area as having a total tourist product based on a
variety of resources, other economic activities either in conflict or complementary
to tourism, a host community, public authorities responsible for planning the re-
sources and a active private sector.
What is important to note in terms of regional development is the extent to which
a tourism region is linked into the domestic and international tourism market, as re-
vealed in the following comment. ‘The interactions between capitalist systems,
localities, and regions (the local–global linkages) define the regions and its pro-
cesses of economic development’ (Amin & Thrift; Petro cited in Malecki, 1997: 11).
In this article, the term region will be examined in a wide range of contexts and
scales. There is an increasingly competitive stance among tourism regions as they
try to attract more tourists. As Kotler et al. (1993) point out, with the globalisation of
the world’s economy and the rate of technological change, places now have to
compete with other places and regions in their own country and throughout the
world for their economic survival. The importance of competitive advantage will be
returned to later in this article.
Regional Development Models and Concepts
The processes of the economic development of a region have been studied from a
variety of different approaches. Blair (1995) outlines a variety of fundamental theo-
ries of regional growth, a few of which are discussed here. (1) Stage models describe
key stages that a city or region passes through. As a region develops, it is able to
replace imports and develops additional products for exports. (2) The export-based
theory of growth is based on the idea that, for a local economy to grow, it must in-
crease its monetary inflow and the only way to do this is through an increase in
exports. This model is usually discussed in terms of income or employment. The
income which is earned by the export sector is spent and respent locally, thereby
creating additional jobs through the multiplier effect. The size of the multiplier is
determined by the degree to which individuals spend money in the local economy.
With tourism being an export, there have been numerous studies conducted on
(3) The supply-side models of economic growth, developed out of the criticisms of the
demand-side approaches such as the export-based theory of growth. Supply-side
growth theories state that growth occurs in a region due to an increase in the supply
of available resources, or because existing resources are used more efficiently. Im-
portant determinants of supply include intermediary inputs and primary factors
such as land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship. While there are criticisms of
both supply and demand based models, what is important to keep in mind is the
extent to which development can generate growth throughout a region. On a
broader scale, the trickle-down theory suggests that overall growth in gross na-
tional product and income per capita would bring benefits (or would trickle down)
to the masses in the form of job creation and other economic opportunities (Todaro,
1997). Within the context of tourism, governments have tried to establish the
trickle-down effect by creating new resort complexes in hope that economic link-
ages would spread throughout the region. This section now turns to examine some
additional theories and concepts for generating regional development.
Table 4.1 highlights early influential regional economic growth theorists who ac-
knowledge not only growth impulses for regional development but also the
resulting regional inequalities, which can occur. The core–periphery dichotomy or
dualism is one of the main metaphors of regional development. From an economic
perspective, the core is a set of regions where complexity, technology and control
are considered the norm and strong linkages to other nodes and the global system
are common. The global system marks deep disparities between the core and pe-
riphery, not only between nations but also between regions within nations
(Malecki, 1997). In the context of developing countries, dualism may be more ap-
propriate, especially as it applies to the linkages between the formal and informal
economies (Malecki, 1997). Dualism is the coexistence in one place of two situations
(one desirable and the other not) that are mutually exclusive to different groups. Ex-
amples include extreme poverty and affluence, modern and traditional sectors and
growth and stagnation (Todaro, 1997). Myrdal’s (1957) discussion of backwash
effects and Friedman’s (1966) centre-periphery model both mention the regional in-
equalities which can result from economic development.