Role of Tourism in Regional Development. Success’ Factors
Ponadto w badaniu uczestniczyli: prof. Andrzej Kowalczyk, Ph.D. (Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, UW); mgr Marta Derek (Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, UW).
The starting point: there is a wide spread notion in Poland (among people, authorities and scientists) that key tourist attractors are natural and – to some extent cultural – resources. Main aim of the research project was to analyze conditions of tourism development seen in the context of regional development. The study took into account not only traditional factors (like existence of natural or cultural resources and tourist infrastructure of all sorts), but also other like mobilization and level of activity of local communities. On the theoretical level main aim related to identification of main factors contributing to success in tourism development in the context of general development. Pragmatic aims related to formulation of conclusions and recommendations useful for tourist development strategy development in the context of regional development. Research was using statistical data for Poland and its regions (compared to European and global situation), while case studies, aiming at empirical identification of factors determining potential success in tourism development, covered 13 municipalities located in different regions and different in terms of local mobilization and activity of local society and authority. Among key conclusions used for formulation of policy recommendations is that local possession of traditional natural and cultural resources is neither necessary nor sufficient condition for tourism development. There are municipalities rich in comparative terms in resources but not active in tourist sector. There are also municipalities having no or little tourist resources which were able to transform themselves fast into frequently visited destinations. In the light of analysis, it is not tourist resources, but social factors (selection of a true leader able to mobilize elites and local community around the vision and development objectives [including tourism]), that have a decisive influence on success in tourism development. More about the research: Marek W. Kozak (2009) Turystyka i polityka turystyczna a rozwój: między starym a nowym paradygmatem [Tourism, tourist Policy and development: between old and New paradigm] Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar; and other publications by author.