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DOI: 10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2015/B23/S7.095

STIMULATING THE COMPETITIVENESS OF EUROPEAN TOURIST DESTINATIONS THROUGH SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. CASE STUDY: ROMANIA MACRO-TOURIST DESTINATION

L. Cismaru, R. Iunius
Monday 28 September 2015 by Libadmin2015

References:
2nd International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM2015, www.sgemsocial.org , SGEM2015 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-48-3 / ISSN 2367-5659 , Aug 26-Sept 01; Book 2, Vol. 3, 747 - 754 pp

ABSTRACT
More and more tourism studies, reports and policies in Europe regard sustainability as a strategic input for gaining competitive advantage. In this context, we consider that in order to be competitive, tourist destinations need to formulate and implement sustainable development strategies. The present article supports the idea that the competitiveness action framework of European tourist destinations has to respect the principles and implement the instruments for sustainable development of tourism which exist at the European Union level. To that end, we used the two following qualitative research methods: the literature review and the case study. We started our analysis with several conceptual clarifications and theoretical definitions regarding the notions of tourism competitiveness and sustainable development within the context of the most recent Tourism Policy adopted by the European Commission. We used a step-by-step approach and formulated a simple definition of the sustainable tourist destination, from a European perspective. For European tourist destinations, gaining competitive advantage essentially means developing in a sustainable way. The next methodological step was to analyze the competitiveness of Romania macro-tourist destination within the context of the European Union. To accomplish this purpose, we used the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index developed by the World Economic Forum. We concluded that Romania needs to focus on the sustainable development of tourism in order to become a more competitive macro-tourist destination within the European Union.

Keywords: tourism sustainable development, competitive destination, sustainable tourist destination, European Tourism Policy, Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index