Special Issue "Marketing for Sustainable Tourism"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2019).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Umberto Martini
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics and Management, University of Trento, Trento, Italy
Interests: destination management and marketing; sustainable tourism; environmental management practices for territories and destinations
Prof. Federica Buffa
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics and Management, University of Trento, Trento, Italy
Interests: relationships and networks in multi-stakeholder territorial systems, small and medium enterprises, environmental management practices for SME, destination management and marketing, sustainable tourism
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aim of the Special Issue is to discuss the main current topics concerning marketing for sustainable tourism with reference to territories (i.e., tourism destinations, protected areas, parks and/or natural sites, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, rural regions/areas, etc.) and tourism enterprises and/or organisations (i.e., destination management organisations, hospitality enterprises, restaurant enterprises, cableway companies, travel agencies, etc.). In destinations where natural resources are pull factors for tourism development, the relationships among local actors (public, private, and local community), as well as marketing choices, are essential to develop sustainable tourism products. To this end, the Special Issue encourages papers that analyse marketing strategies adopted by tourism destinations and/or tourism enterprises to avoid overtourism, to manage mass sustainable tourism (as defined by Weaver, 2000), and to encourage and promote sustainable tourism in marginal areas or in territories suffering lack of integration in the tourism offer. Special attention will be given to contributions on the best practices to manage territories and/or enterprises adopting sustainable marketing strategies.

Research papers, as well as conceptual papers discussing marketing for sustainable tourism at the destination/enterprise level, are welcome.

Prof. Umberto Martini
Dr. Federica Buffa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • destination marketing and management
  • sustainable tourism and sustainable tourism products
  • natural resources management for sustainable tourism development
  • tourism in UNESCO World Heritage Sites and/or protected areas
  • sustainability and marketing strategies of tourism enterprises
  • environmental management practices in tourism enterprises (SMTEs)
  • territorial marketing and sustainable local development

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Marketing for Sustainable Tourism
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2014; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052014 - 06 Mar 2020
Abstract
In the last twenty years, the tourism industry has been transformed by several global trends [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Positioning Axes of Sustainable Tourist Destinations: The Case of Aragón
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 4885; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184885 - 06 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The purpose of this research is to determine the optimal positioning strategies of Aragón as a sustainable tourist destination. An exploratory research is carried out based on the analysis of statistical information sources, the identification of global and multisectoral macro-trends with direct impact [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research is to determine the optimal positioning strategies of Aragón as a sustainable tourist destination. An exploratory research is carried out based on the analysis of statistical information sources, the identification of global and multisectoral macro-trends with direct impact on the evolution of the tourist sector, and the use of the qualitative technique of the focus group. The main and secondary axes to provide a basis for the positioning strategy of the autonomous community are presented as a result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
How Can a Destination Better Manage Its Offering to Visitors? Observing Visitor Experiences via Online Reviews
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4660; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174660 - 27 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Destinations are competing every day to attract more tourists and increase tourism receipts. In order to maintain tourists’ interests in the destination and expect sustainable income from tourism, understanding tourists’ perceptions of the destination is a critical task for destination managers. Tourists’ continuous [...] Read more.
Destinations are competing every day to attract more tourists and increase tourism receipts. In order to maintain tourists’ interests in the destination and expect sustainable income from tourism, understanding tourists’ perceptions of the destination is a critical task for destination managers. Tourists’ continuous visitation can be ensured when destinations are perceived to be positive and attractive. Therefore, this study examines destination attributes that are fundamental elements of the destination and tourists’ experiences. More specifically, this study investigates the destination attributes that are perceived to be positive by tourists using online reviews. Online reviews were analyzed with content analysis techniques and the quantified content was statically compared with the star rating provided by tourists. In addition, the influence of destination attributes on other conation dimensions-attitude and behavior-was analyzed. Destination attributes that have an influence on the star rating showed similar results to the attitude. However, behavior dimensions only had a significant influence for tour guides’ quality of the destination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating the Effect of Experience in an Airport on Pleasure, Satisfaction, and Airport Image: A Case Study on Incheon International Airport
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4616; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174616 - 25 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study aimed to empirically explore the effects of the experience economy of Incheon International Airport (IIA) on pleasure, satisfaction, and airport image. A survey was conducted with a total of 416 airport users at IIA, and the collected data were analyzed using [...] Read more.
This study aimed to empirically explore the effects of the experience economy of Incheon International Airport (IIA) on pleasure, satisfaction, and airport image. A survey was conducted with a total of 416 airport users at IIA, and the collected data were analyzed using a structural equation model. Among the four realms of experience, esthetic experience and escapist experience had positive effects on pleasure. In addition, pleasure had a positive effect on satisfaction and airport image, and that satisfaction had a significant effect on airport image. It is expected that the results of this study can serve as fundamental data to enhancing the satisfaction level of airport users and increasing the sustainable development of IIA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Port’s Role as a Determinant of Cruise Destination Socio-Economic Sustainability
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4542; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174542 - 21 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
This article argues that the cruise terminal ports play a crucial role in the economic and socio-cultural sustainability of destinations, bridging the onshore tourism offered among cruise companies, global operators, and local business and infrastructures. They support the promotion of local brands and [...] Read more.
This article argues that the cruise terminal ports play a crucial role in the economic and socio-cultural sustainability of destinations, bridging the onshore tourism offered among cruise companies, global operators, and local business and infrastructures. They support the promotion of local brands and reduce congestion. The impact of crowds on the identity of coastal cities triggered the attention of academia and media, alerting for their negative impact, specifically from the Mediterranean cruises. In parallel, it raised the research interest on cruise tourism carrying capacity and ports planning the integration of cruise tourists’ flow. However, previous studies focused on the residents’ and passengers’ perception of a specific destination, neglecting the port management role. This study aims to clarify the underneath dynamics that allow sustainable cruise–land visit. Employing a qualitative case study approach, it compares data obtained from secondary sources and port executives’ structured deep interviews from two leading transit ports connected with the Mediterranean. Lisbon is amongst the most popular tourism destinations and international cruise terminals; Livorno is a gateway port to Tuscany, mainly Florence and Pisa. Despite their different patterns, in both ports of call, a strong concern with sustainability and a reduced congestion effect are observed from the management actions on promoting the local offer and on revitalizing the terminal infrastructures in order to provide comfort shopping and entertainment amenities to passengers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Differences in Tourist Behaviors across the Seasons: The Case of Northern Indiana
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4351; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164351 - 12 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Seasonality is an essential factor influencing tourism demand and traveler behavior at the destination. As such, seasonality (i.e., the influx of tourists) needs to be managed by destination marketing organizations. Most tourism studies have focused mainly on the forecasting methods/metrics and the effect [...] Read more.
Seasonality is an essential factor influencing tourism demand and traveler behavior at the destination. As such, seasonality (i.e., the influx of tourists) needs to be managed by destination marketing organizations. Most tourism studies have focused mainly on the forecasting methods/metrics and the effect of seasonality at the aggregate level rather than understanding seasonal differences in the nature of the traveler and travel experience. The purpose of this study is to understand seasonality at both the aggregate market level and individual traveler level. As such, this study first utilizes the concept of the gravity model to understand seasonality in the number of inquiries through an official website. This study, then, uses seemingly unrelated regressions to estimate simultaneously the effect of various trip-related factors on overall trip expenditures and the length of the trip. The results show that the impact of seasonality on aggregated demand is surprisingly consistent across the seasons; however, individual-level analyses indicate that traveler behavior and travelers’ responses to advertising differ significantly across seasons. Thus, destination marketers need to understand the nature of seasonality of their specific markets more accurately to provide appropriate tourism products/services to their current and potential travelers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants and Mechanisms of Tourists’ Environmentally Responsible Behavior: Applying and Extending the Value-Identity-Personal Norm Model in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3711; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133711 - 06 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
It is well recognized that tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior is a prominent contributor to the sustainable development of tourist destinations. Based on the original Value-Identity-Personal norm (VIP) model and self-efficacy theory, this study proposes an extended VIP model for exploring the generalized determinants [...] Read more.
It is well recognized that tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior is a prominent contributor to the sustainable development of tourist destinations. Based on the original Value-Identity-Personal norm (VIP) model and self-efficacy theory, this study proposes an extended VIP model for exploring the generalized determinants of tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior and investigating the impact mechanism of this behavior in China. A total number of 435 self-reported questionnaires were collected on a professional online survey platform. Our research results indicated that the extended VIP model could significantly and validly explain tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior. Specifically, biospheric values have an indirect but rooted effect on tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior. Furthermore, two indirect paths play the same mediational role between biospheric values and tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior. The findings expand the application field of the VIP model, contribute to a better understanding for academic researchers of tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior and shed light on managerial implications for practitioners in the sustainable development of tourist destinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Alternative Product Development as Strategy Towards Sustainability in Tourism: The Case of Lanzarote
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3588; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133588 - 29 Jun 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Currently, tourist destinations are, more than ever, confronted with specific challenges and also negative impacts arising from overarching developments. In order to address such challenges and to reduce negative impacts resulting from tourism, sustainable development has emerged as a widely accepted approach. Under [...] Read more.
Currently, tourist destinations are, more than ever, confronted with specific challenges and also negative impacts arising from overarching developments. In order to address such challenges and to reduce negative impacts resulting from tourism, sustainable development has emerged as a widely accepted approach. Under special consideration of seemingly successful destinations, this article aims to identify complementary strategies towards sustainability in tourism, instead of developing completely new strategies which replace the existing ones. This will be done in the course of endogenous values and structures within a destination. To discuss this issue, the Canary island of Lanzarote is used as case in point, via a qualitative interview series consisting of eleven interviews with different direct and indirect tourism stakeholders from the island, which have been evaluated according to the GABEK®-method (German abbreviation for “GAnzheitliche BEwältigung von Komplexität”: holistic coping of complexity). The results show that aspects of mass tourism have a negative impact on the island and therefore a seemingly successful destination, at least in quantitative terms, is confronted with issues of sustainability and a need for action. In this field, diversification regarding both new offers and target groups is helpful to enable tourism and regional development to be more sustainable. In consequence and from a conceptual point of view, alternative product development as a new approach towards sustainability in tourism within established destinations will be presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Auditing Marketing and the Use of Social Media at Ski Resorts
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2868; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102868 - 20 May 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Mountain and snow tourism are sectors of immense social and economic importance that are developed in an especially sensitive environmental context. A large part of this tourism is channeled through ski resorts. The literature on comparative studies of ski-resort management and, in particular, [...] Read more.
Mountain and snow tourism are sectors of immense social and economic importance that are developed in an especially sensitive environmental context. A large part of this tourism is channeled through ski resorts. The literature on comparative studies of ski-resort management and, in particular, on marketing management, is limited. This study contributes knowledge on the application of marketing practiced at ski resorts. For the first time, an audit of marketing at ski resorts is performed through a quantitative survey at resorts in two countries (Spain and Italy). The importance–performance analysis (IPA) is used, which identifies both the strong and the weak points and the great deficits of marketing management at ski resorts from the perspective of their directors, to whom the questionnaire was addressed. The social media usage of the ski-stations is also analyzed, identifying different typologies of resorts in accordance with their performance against 11 indicators from Twitter and 15 from Facebook. Knowing the opinion of the visitors, the online and competitive strategy, and adapting to the legislative changes are the aspects to which the directors attach greater importance. The greatest deficits were linked to employee motivation and communication (internal and non-integrated). There are minor differences in Twitter and Facebook indicators between Spanish and Italian ski resorts. The turnover results of the ski resorts present more correlation with Facebook indicators than with Twitter ones. This analysis provides recommendations and implications for the management of ski resorts in the six dimensions of marketing under consideration. It, likewise, offers knowledge of the social-media-related behavior of resorts that are leaders on both Twitter and Facebook, for benchmarking purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Is Gastronomy A Relevant Factor for Sustainable Tourism? An Empirical Analysis of Spain Country Brand
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2696; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092696 - 12 May 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Tourism has become a fundamental industry for the economic growth of many countries. Due to this, there is growing competitiveness among the different destinations to attract as many tourists as possible. As a result, disciplines such as marketing have developed tools to differentiate [...] Read more.
Tourism has become a fundamental industry for the economic growth of many countries. Due to this, there is growing competitiveness among the different destinations to attract as many tourists as possible. As a result, disciplines such as marketing have developed tools to differentiate some destinations from others and concepts such as place branding and country brand have emerged. One of the key factors forming the country brand is gastronomy, as food tourism is one way to reduce the growing problem of sustainability in tourism, as it impacts different aspects of the country’s environment. However, there is a great lack of scientific works that relate both variables. In this paper, we propose to establish that, in the case of Spain, tourists’ perception of Spanish gastronomy is a key element of its country brand. To do that, this study relies on the use of Partial Least Squares Structural Equations Modeling (PLS-SEM) using a 496 cases data set. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Determinants of Hot Spring Tourism Customer Satisfaction: Causal Relationships Analysis Using ISM
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2613; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092613 - 07 May 2019
Abstract
To stand out in the hot spring tourism industry, customer satisfaction has become the crucial issue for competitiveness. A company cannot implement several customer satisfaction improvement practices altogether with limited resources. Researchers advocate that companies should evaluate the relationships among success factors and [...] Read more.
To stand out in the hot spring tourism industry, customer satisfaction has become the crucial issue for competitiveness. A company cannot implement several customer satisfaction improvement practices altogether with limited resources. Researchers advocate that companies should evaluate the relationships among success factors and explore determinants for their improvement implementation. However, such a relationship evaluation has not yet been adequately performed. This paper intends to explore the determinants for improving hot spring customer satisfaction. Adopting grounded theory (GT) and using data collected from websites, Ctrip and Qunar, the first 12 key factors for customer satisfaction were identified. Then, their interrelationships were assessed by 15 experts, and interpretive structural modeling (ISM) was employed to analyze the interrelationships and the driving and dependence power among key factors. The results show that “Environment Quality”, “Special Resource”, “Convenience”, “Food”, Service Quality”, and “Facilities” were the decisive factors affecting customer satisfaction. The findings offer important implications for hot spring management and practice. The contribution of this study is using a novel approach to establish a hierarchical structural model for comprehensive understanding of factor relationships that influence hot spring tourists’ satisfaction and to explore decisive factors which can help hot spring practitioners to better plan and design effective improvement strategies to attract potential new consumers and retain their current consumers, especially with limited resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Social Network Analysis as a Valuable Tool for Understanding Tourists’ Multi-Attraction Travel Behavioral Intention to Revisit and Recommend
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2497; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092497 - 29 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
In order to better understand tourists’ multi-attraction travel behavior, the present study developed a research model by combining the social network analysis technique with the structural equation model. The object of this study was to examine the structural relationships among destination image, tourists’ [...] Read more.
In order to better understand tourists’ multi-attraction travel behavior, the present study developed a research model by combining the social network analysis technique with the structural equation model. The object of this study was to examine the structural relationships among destination image, tourists’ multi-attraction travel behavior patterns, tourists’ satisfaction, and their behavioral intentions. The data were gathered via an online survey using the China panel system. A total of 468 respondents who visited multiple attractions while in Seoul, Korea, were used for actual analysis. The results showed that all hypotheses are supported. Specifically, destination image was an important antecedent to multi-attraction travel behavior indicated by density and degree indices. In addition, the present study confirmed that density and degree centrality, the indicators of tourists’ multi-attraction travel behavior, were positively related to tourist satisfaction. The current study represented theoretical and practical implications and suggested avenues for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
A Business Creation in Post-Industrial Tourism Objects: Case of the Industrial Monuments Route
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1451; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051451 - 08 Mar 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
The aim of this article is to discuss the basic types of business transformations identified in post-industrial heritage sites in the context of changes in business models. The basis for this analysis is the research carried out in 2017 in 42 post-industrial tourism [...] Read more.
The aim of this article is to discuss the basic types of business transformations identified in post-industrial heritage sites in the context of changes in business models. The basis for this analysis is the research carried out in 2017 in 42 post-industrial tourism objects, in the Industrial Monuments Route (IMR) largest in Poland, that is a part of European Route of Industrial Heritage. The analysis of historical changes and the documentation of objects, within the Industrial Monuments Route, made it possible to identify three transformation types in business models of these objects. The post-production organization model can be considered the most popular scheme on the analyzed route. It concerns an enterprise or cultural institution, that previously was a production or extraction plant and currently services tourists only. Although these objects were not designed with tourists in mind, they perfectly fulfill this function due to the presented transformations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
The Relationships among Experiential Marketing, Service Innovation, and Customer Satisfaction—A Case Study of Tourism Factories in Taiwan
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1041; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041041 - 17 Feb 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Tourism factories are tourist attractions with values of manufacturing, culture, history, tourism, and recreation, providing a series of activities for tourists to experience the products and the manufacturing process in the mode of experiential marketing so as to enhance their cognition for the [...] Read more.
Tourism factories are tourist attractions with values of manufacturing, culture, history, tourism, and recreation, providing a series of activities for tourists to experience the products and the manufacturing process in the mode of experiential marketing so as to enhance their cognition for the products and the corporate image. With the establishment of numerous tourism factories in Taiwan, to be competitive it is essential for the factories to develop unique and innovative modes that are difficult to imitate. This study explores experiential marketing, service innovation, customer satisfaction, and other related issues through research on the tourists of a certain tourism factory. It notes that experiential marketing and service innovation have positive effects on customer satisfaction. Tourists’ levels of consciousness of sensual and emotional experience in experiential marketing is very high. Therefore, to strengthen experiential marketing towards customers, applying electronic media to reinforce knowledge of the corporation and products will promote the corporation’s image and product packaging. It will also familiarize customers with the operating philosophy of the corporation and the characteristics of the products so that their purchase intentions will increase, resulting in sustainable development of the business. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Threshold Effect of Tourism Development on Economic Growth Following a Disaster Shock: Evidence from the Wenchuan Earthquake, P.R. China
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020371 - 12 Jan 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
To examine whether tourism can effectively stimulate economic growth following a disaster shock, we apply a panel threshold regression technique to test the threshold effect of tourism development on economic growth of the 36 Wenchuan earthquake-affected counties in 2008–2016. The empirical results using [...] Read more.
To examine whether tourism can effectively stimulate economic growth following a disaster shock, we apply a panel threshold regression technique to test the threshold effect of tourism development on economic growth of the 36 Wenchuan earthquake-affected counties in 2008–2016. The empirical results using the panel fixed-effects model show that tourism significantly contributes to economic growth, supporting the validity of the tourism-led growth hypothesis (TLGH) for the disaster-affected destinations. The results of the panel threshold regression model also indicate a threshold effect of tourism development on economic growth, implying that counties with different conditions of tourism specialization and industrial structure experience different impacts on the tourism-growth nexus. Specifically, the estimated coefficients of tourism on economic growth decrease with the levels of tourism specialization and industrial structure exceeding the threshold value. Based on the Tourism Area Life Cycle theory (TALC), we further divide the 36 disaster-stricken counties into six types based on the evolution of tourism specialization: Exploration-stage type, involvement-stage type, transition-stage type, development-stage type, consolidation-stage type, and stagnation-stage type. The empirical findings and managerial implications discussed are generally applicable to policymakers seeking new ways to invigorate the economy in other disaster-affected destinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism) Printed Edition available
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