nep-tur New Economics Papers
on Tourism Economics
Issue of 2010‒02‒05
five papers chosen by
Antonello Scorcu
University of Bologna

  1. The sources of comparative advantage in tourism By Leon du Toit; Johan Fourie; Devon Trew
  2. The Prospects for Inter-Urban Travel Demand By Yves Crozet
  3. International Air Passenger Transport in the Future By David Gillen
  4. Long-Distance Bus Services in Europe: Concessions or Free Market? By Didier van de Velde
  5. High-Speed Inter-City Transport System in Japan Past, Present and the Future By Katsuhiro Yamaguchi

  1. By: Leon du Toit (Bureau for Economic Research, University of Stellenbosch); Johan Fourie (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Devon Trew (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: Tourism flows are usually explained through demand-side factors such as income growth in developed economies and changes in the preferences of visitors. While these models are adequate for short-term forecasts, little theoretical justification is provided to explain why certain countries perform better than others. This paper identifies which countries have a comparative advantage in the export of travel services (tourism). Consequently, the paper seeks to identify the sources of this comparative advantage. We include the standard explanatory variables (factors of production, including natural environment) for Ricardian comparative advantage, plus measures of infrastructure, health, safety and security, tourism prioritization, and various dummy variables. We also develop and test new variables, including a neighbourhood variable, which measures the benefits obtained from regional tourism clusters. Our results have important policy implications; it is clear that the natural environment has a large positive and significant impact on a country’s revealed comparative advantage, as do transport endowments (a measure of relative accessibility) and the neighbourhood variable. These findings correspond to the predictions of the neoclassical trade theories (namely Heckscher-Ohlin) and to some extent the new trade theories (Krugman).
    Keywords: tourism, comparative advantage, trade in services
    JEL: F11
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Yves Crozet
    Abstract: The great difference between our journeys and activity schedules and those of our forebears lies in the much longer distances we travel. By road, and even more so by rail and air, nowadays we can cover hundreds or even thousands of miles in a few hours. Inter-urban mobility is directly affected by these developments. Where international travel by coach and sailing ship used to take weeks, and intercontinental journeys sometimes even longer, we now count the time in hours. The transport revolution has played a major part in the economic history of the last two centuries (Niveau and Crozet, 2000), but it must be emphasized that the change has been gradual. Over two hundred years have passed between the stage-coach and the high-speed train, the clipper and the jet, during which technological progress and the higher speeds it enables have spread relatively slowly. Even with key technological revolutions like the railways, the automobile and the aeroplane, it took several decades for them to become available to the population at large. From this slow percolation of technological progress into the way we live has arisen the idea that steadily increasing mobility is a structural given of modern society. Further, faster seems to have become the general rule, to such an extent that even space travel, so we are told, will become more widely available in the relatively near future. A few very wealthy people have already become the world's first space tourists. It is the self-evident nature of this long-term trend towards increased mobility that we wish to examine in this report, since a number of factors could well undermine the relatively classic assumption that past trends will continue into the future.
    Date: 2009–12
  3. By: David Gillen
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is relatively straightforward, suggesting “what international air passenger travel will look like in five, ten or fifteen years and why?” This requires answering two questions; what will be the principal determinants of the growth in international air travel and what impact will each of these drivers have on the growth rate? An imbedded question is does history have anything to teach us or are there new forces at work? Canvassing the current aviation trade press finds two schools of thought, one taking the position that this a deep recession but a recession nonetheless and once world economies start recovering air traffic will go back to the typical growth of 4-5 percent annually. A second school is less sanguine, taking the position that it will not be business as usual when economies stop sinking and move to recovery. Any economic recovery is going to involve fundamental changes in institutions, rethinking polices regarding government participation in economies and changes in economic leadership in the world. There is also the hydra of protectionism most prominent now in the US but certainly being practiced elsewhere, and what will happen to foreign ownership restrictions that prior to 2009 were being seen as hurting rather than helping world airlines. All of this will change international aviation going forward.
    Date: 2009–12
  4. By: Didier van de Velde
    Abstract: This paper makes a review of the current situation in the interurban passenger transport market by coach in Europe, describing for a number of selected countries the regulatory setting, the main market actors, the main developments have taken place in the last decade or two and a number of resulting challenges, especially in terms of regulation. The paper starts with a chapter on country cases. The next chapter summarises the main facts and trends that appear out of this review. The last chapter draws a few conclusions.
    Date: 2009–12
  5. By: Katsuhiro Yamaguchi
    Abstract: With the advent of Shinkansen in 1964, a unique inter-city transport network in which high-speed railway and air transport developed simultaneously, emerged in Japan, and modal choice between them based on price and speed has been manifested. Looking ahead, the next generation high-speed transport, the Maglev, is on the horizon. In order to capture the full impacts of the Maglev technology, simulation analysis with a dynamic spatial nested logit model was conducted. From this, we identified a significant opportunity for the Maglev Super-express between Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, but with net benefitsexceeding net costs only with an annual economic growth of approximately 2% - 3% achieved in the next 65 years in Japan. If such economic condition were realized, the total air transport market would also continue to grow despite strong competition from the Shinkansen/Maglev system. Another point of interest is Maglev’s impact on reducing global warming. CO2 emission from Maglev is one-third of air transport. Introduction of Maglev Super-express in inter-city transport, however, also attracts passengers from Shinkansen that has five times lower CO2 emission intensity. Indeed, our simulation analysis shows that total CO2 emissions from high-speed inter-city transport increases when Maglev Super-express is introduced. Increase in total CO2 emission from electricity users including Maglev Super-express could be mitigated by energy conversion sector’s effort to reduce CO2 content of electric power supply, for instance, by increasing utilization of nuclear energy. Further research in assessing possible impact of capacity constraint in existing network, not considered in this paper, would facilitate deeper understanding of the future high-speed inter-city transport system.
    Date: 2009–12

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