Natalia Porto, Ana Clara Rucci, Matias Ciaschi

Tourism accessibility competitiveness. A regional approach for Latin American countries

Tourism competitiveness is a topic of concern for everyone involved in planning, investing and studying the tourism sector. Researchers face challenges in measuring competitiveness and evaluating which issues to include in their analyses. The aim of this work is to determine to what extent adequate accessibility —defined as a set of conditions that a destination should have to be used optimally by individuals, including people with disabilities— represents an additional determinant for tourism demand, in a regional context. Using data from 17 Latin American countries during the period 1995-2015, we estimate a gravitational panel data model with fixed effects and show that the attractive assets declared by UNESCO as world heritage sites, as well as the component of accessibility, together increase international tourism demand. In this way, this paper shows the value of prioritizing discussion of issues like accessible tourism to reach a broad and «modern» measurement of competitiveness.

Keywords: tourism accessibility; regional tourism demand; competitiveness.

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