Relation between the Level of Clusterization and Tourism Sector Competitiveness
Keywords:tourism sector, clusterization, cluster life cycle, clusterization index, competitiveness.
This scientific study is dedicated to the analysis of the link between the level, or degree, of clusterization and tourism sector competitiveness. It must be emphasized that clusters, depending on the phase of their growth and development, exercise increasing influence over business organizations, as well as their competitive abilities. The more clusterized a particular business sector is, the more likely it is going to develop a competitive advantage. Therefore, it is important to identify and evaluate the influence of clusterization level on the competitiveness of a tourism sector, for it is one of the key sectors in modern service-based economies. The aim of the study is to identify the relation between the level of clusterization and tourism sector competitiveness; and the objectives of the study are: 1) to identify the main fields of cluster impact on the competitiveness of business sectors, and individual business firms; 2) to relate different cluster formation (growth, development) stages to the dynamics of competitiveness; 3) to develop a measurement tool for the evaluation of clusterization level (Clusterization Index, CI); 4) to develop a theoretical model that indicates the relation between the Clusterization Index (CI) and tourism sector competitiveness. The following methods have been applied in the study: logical and comparative analysis of literature; holistic and systematic approach; synthesis and deduction; graphical methods. The influence of clusters on the competitiveness of business sectors and business firms possesses at least three dimensions: entrepreneurship (new businesses), productivity, and innovation. Clusters tend to make good incubators of innovative ideas, new companies, and new businesses. Fresh business ventures and clusters may start-up in the collision of several different clusters. The degree of competitiveness is dependant on the life cycle dynamics of a cluster – competitiveness grows when a cluster develops, and decreases as it reaches the phase of decline. At the maturity stage of a cluster, the degree of competitiveness tends to be the highest. The authors of this research have introduced the Clusterization Index, which includes various attributes of clusterization that are to be evaluated by independent experts. The average estimates of all the attributes are to be multiplied by the coefficients of significance and summed together to provide a unified estimate of CI. The index requires further improvement in order to return the most objective and accurate estimation results. The competitiveness level has 2 dimensions – the determinants (factors) and indicators. In order to evaluate the link between the clusterization level, represented by CI, and competitiveness level (CL), the relations between CI and various indicators of the business (in this case – the tourism sector) sector competitiveness are to be found. It can be concluded that the analysis of clusterization level, cluster life cycle and their influence on the competitiveness of business firms, is a complex (and multi-stage) process of increasing importance. The field of research related to the level of clusterization is particularly new, thus it demands the growth of scientific and practical attention.