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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 9 / 2011 (562)

Tourism Competitiveness Index – An Empirical Analysis Romania vs. Bulgaria

Mihai CROITORU
Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies

Abstract. In the conditions of the current economic downturn, many specialists consider tourism as one of the sectors with the greatest potential to provide worldwide economic growth and development. A growing tourism sector can contribute effectively to employment, increase national income, and can also make a decisive mark on the balance of payments. Thus, tourism can be an important driving force for growth and prosperity, especially in emerging economies, being a key element in reducing poverty and regional disparities. Despite its contribution to economic growth, tourism sector development can be undermined by a series of economic and legislative barriers that can affect the competitiveness of this sector. In this context, the World Economic Forum proposes, via the Tourism Competitiveness Index (TCI), in addition to a methodology to identify key factors that contribute to increasing tourism competitiveness, tools for analysis and evaluation of these factors.

    In this context, this paper aims to analyze the underlying determinants of TCI from the perspective of two directly competing states, Romania and Bulgaria in order to highlight the effects of communication on the competitiveness of the tourism sector. The purpose of this analysis is to provide some answers, especially in terms of communication strategies, which may explain the completely different performances of the two national economies in the tourism sector.

Keywords: tourism; competitiveness; empirical analysis; communication strategies.

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