Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Tourism and Globalization: A Trade Theoretic Approach

Nowak, Jean-Jacques and Petit, Sylvain and Sahli, Mondher (2013): Tourism and Globalization: A Trade Theoretic Approach. Forthcoming in: Handbook of Tourism Economics: Analysis, New Applications and Case Studies (2013): pp. 575-604.

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An important facet of globalization is the international fragmentation of production. This phenomenon has been studied for goods and many services but has so far been neglected in tourism studies. In this paper, we attempt to rectify that by providing theoretical and empirical evidence of various aspects of the international division of tourism production (IDTP). In the theoretical section, we use the traditional Ricardian paradigm to show that the IDTP is a conceivable possibility for tourism and may even be highly likely in a context of rapidly decreasing costs of transport, trade and communications. The three theoretical cases shown here can be interpreted, in a historical perspective, as describing the gradual opening of tourism to international trade in Europe. The empirical section is based on the revealed comparative advantage index of Balassa to study the pattern of specialization of 36 countries (18 OECD countries and 18 developing countries) in two segments of the tourism product system. Our results confirm that tourism production has been globally fragmented over the period 1980-2006, but that the pattern of specialization of the two groups of countries evolved differently over time.

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