Why Destination Competitiveness? 18
Travellers today, domestic or international, are more educated, informed, demanding and experienced. As a result they expect good value, quality and higher standards. The changes happening at demand side, coupled with recent development in information and communication technology, infl uence all aspects of marketing strategy and travel behavior. From marketing theory perspective, the requirement of meeting or exceeding travellers’ needs and wants should be balanced against the growing requirement of places and destinations to develop and protect destination attractions, assets and resources in the most sustainable way (Middleton and Clarke 2001). Certainly, there are a number of reasons to indicate as to why the measurement and determination of destination competitiveness has become so important in travel and tourism (e.g. the existence of multiple destinations, the emergence of new destinations and so on). Each of these characteristics is explained in this chapter. These may also aid the readers to clearly understand the necessity of writing a textbook on the term ‘destination competitiveness’. This chapter also discusses the distinctive characteristics of the tourism industry along with destinations and evaluating main elements of destination attractiveness.