A competitiveness model for tourism products
Competitiveness is an important matter receiving increasing attention by the tourism industry. There is an intense focus on destination competitiveness and it became evident that smaller tourism products are mostly excluded. The main aim of this study was therefore to develop a competitiveness model for tourism products. Five research objectives were derived from the main aim of the research. The first objective was to analyse various research methodologies and structures. Secondly, positioning and travel decision-making and the role thereof in competitiveness were analysed. The third objective was to analyse the key components of competitiveness. Fourthly, to interpret the results from the empirical research enabling the identification of key components of the competitiveness model for tourism products. The fifth objective was to draw conclusions and lastly recommendations were made. In order to achieve this goal, a literature study was firstly necessary to identify key components of competitiveness in general and to develop the questionnaire. The key words included competitiveness, competitiveness model, tourism industry, competitor and competitor analysis. After the literature study, the empirical research was done by means of a questionnaire. After pilot testing the questionnaire, the research was conducted amongst tourists visiting Klein Kariba Holiday Resort. With the application of this process 372 useable questionnaires were received. The results of the questionnaires were statistically processed and utilised in designing the competitiveness model. The study indicated that even with smaller tourism products, effective positioning is critical in order to be competitive. Through travel decision-making the most important variables or attributes of positioning are identified and are therefore crucial to understand as these variables or attributes lead to purchase behaviour and have a direct influence on competitiveness. The study also indicated that competitiveness refers to those forces, indicators and success factors that contribute to each tourism product's own uniqueness, allowing the identification of the relative strengths and weaknesses. A valuable contribution was therefore made in determining the relationships between the variables in the model, which directly indicates the importance of certain aspects in increasing competitiveness. Based on the literature and empirical study a competitiveness model for tourism products was developed which can aid managers and product owners in making tourism products more competitive.