Networking of Small Tourist Destinations: Evidence from Russia
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Tourism plays an important role in the development of small towns. However, small towns often lack resources and opportunities to fully develop their tourist potential. Pieces of evidence from various countries show that networking is one of the most effective ways to increase small tourist destinations’ competitiveness. Our study aims to identify the features of small destinations’ network cooperation based on the case of the Association of Small Tourist Towns of Russia (ASTT). The empirical part of the research is based on a combination of methods, including local authorities’ survey and a set of structured interviews with destinations’ stakeholders. The results of our study show that even though ASTT aims primarily at developing joint marketing activities, in reality most of the association’s efforts are aimed at lobbying small towns’ interests at the federal level. We found strong evidence that participation of a small town in ASTT (inter-destination network) has a positive influence on the willingness of local authorities to develop tourism clusters (intra-destination network).
KeywordsSmall tourist destination Networking Association of small tourist towns of Russia Inter-destination network Tourist clusters
JEL ClassificationZ32 Z33
We are grateful to Elena Kaneva (ASTT), Oksana Kochevnaya (Azov town administration), Natalya Rozhkova (Lomonosov MSU), Yulia Voronova (Uglich town administration) for their assistance in data collection and their helpful comments on the study draft.
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