Theoretical Aspects Of Formation Infrastructure Of Potential Of Event Tourism

Abstract

Event tourism as a kind of general tourism has its own potential, which is a species in relation to the generic, general concept of the tourism and recreation potential. However, there is a significant disagreement among economists even about the generic definition of the concept of the tourism and recreation potential and its species differentiation. In academic and specialized literature, there is no common interpretation of this concept and there was not found a unified approach to determining “tourist resources”. The aim of the study is to identify the existing methodological approaches to the definition of the concept “tourist and recreational potential”, their subsequent analysis, and defining on this base the “event tourism potential”. It is clarified in this work that most of the authors, considering the term "potential", proceed from the position that a potential always means the set of characteristics and does not exist outside of the specific task, for implementation of which it is defined. As a result, the object, the potential of which is described, and the task for resolving of which this potential can be used, determine the main bulk of the differences. The hypothesis of the research is that the event tourism, as a form of general tourism, has its own potential, which is a species in respect of the generic concept of the potential of tourism and recreation.

Keywords: Infrastructurepotentialevent tourismcompetitiveness

Introduction

Tourism is one of the largest, highly profitable and dynamically developing sectors of the global economy, creating, according to various estimations, from 10% to 30% of the world GDP (UNWTO Annual Report 2014, 2015).

Nowadays, event tourism and the event on which it is based, become one of the promising directions of development of tourism economy, since the "event", being the motivator of behavior of tourists, takes a significant place in the development and marketing plans of the companies of the tourism industry. Event tourism is a unique spatial and temporal phenomenon, whose uniqueness is achieved by interaction between diverse participants of the travel industry and among other members of the society.

Problem Statement

One of the most comprehensive and recognized research in the field of the event tourism considers the following criteria in evaluating potential opportunities for the development of the event tourism in the region:

  • the presence of natural, historical and cultural attractions;

  • the state of the infrastructure of tourism (organization of tourist accommodation, leisure activities, excursions, etc.);

  • the development of the transport infrastructure (the possibility of easy access to tourist resources);

  • the state of the social infrastructure (water supply and sanitation, electricity supply, the waste processing system, telecommunications).

Based on these evaluation criteria, one can be strengthened in the opinion that tourism acts as a system sector of the economy.

In the scientific literature (Martyshenko & Schmidt, 2014), the concept of potential is quite known and relatively well studied. Generally, the potential is defined as a combination of available funds and opportunities. Related to the potential as the species concept to the generic one, the economic potential is specified through the generalized ability of the economic system to solve various problems of economic and social development. Traditionally, this ability depends on the condition, size and other parameters of production, its infrastructure, availability of reserves, volumes of natural resources and other elements of the system of national accounting. This position is approved by most of the scientists and is considered to be classic.

Research Questions

Event tourism, as a form of general tourism, has its own potential, which is a species in respect of the generic concept of the potential of tourism and recreation. However, among economists there is a major disagreement concerning the definition of the generic concept of the tourist and recreational potential and its species differentiation. Vlasov and Shabalina (2009) rightly noted this fact, pointing to the lack of unity in the interpretation and use (Getz, 2008). Based on the conducted research, the author considers it possible to group the most quoted in the domestic economic literature approaches to understanding and interpretation of these concepts in the following way (table 1 ).

Purpose of the Study

There are many methodological approaches to the definition of the concept “The potential of tourism and recreation“

Table 1 -
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Research Methods

It is noted that the tourism industry is ensured with the resources that are covered by the resource capacity of the area – its tourism and recreation potential. For the subject of tourism, the tourism resources are the object of the tourist interest, so everything that can help him in meeting his needs is considered as a tourist resource. At the same time, for the tourism industry tourist resources are economic resources, i.e. a kind of benefits, created by nature or society, required for the formation of consumer goods. In the economic literature, there is no consensus on the composition of the tourism resources. The regulatory documents review tourism resources as any objects that can satisfy the needs of tourists, to facilitate the recovery and development of their spiritual and physical strength. That is, the normative approach, in the first place, describes the resources of tourism from the point of view of a tourist. In the scientific and educational literature, there is no unambiguous interpretation of the concept “tourism resources". Among the recent works on this issue (2005-2015) in Russia, the research of Danilenko and Ludwig (2008) should be highlighted. These scientists identify tourism resources through a set of climatic, socio-cultural and infrastructural factors, used for the production of the final tourism product. This definition, in contrast to the Federal Law, reflects the essence of tourism resources from the point of view of the tourism industry more accurately, but forgets about the tourist.

Thus, it is possible to come to the generalized conclusion that with reference to the sphere of the event tourism, the economics of tourism acts as a link between resources and human needs, as due to the activities of tour operators on the basis of the tourism resources, economic benefits (tourism products) that meet the needs (of tourists) are created.

Also, basing on the existing economic theory viewpoint on tourism resources as a variation of the factors of production in the service sector, we can highlight the tourist resources in the broad and narrow sense.

So, in a broad sense, tourism resources can be viewed as a special case of application of the generalized meaning of economic concepts for a particular industry. That is, the generic term would be “an economic benefit” and the species would be «a tourist resource". Thus, the interpretation of tourist resources, in the broad sense, allows us to describe the set of the real material (natural, human, financial and other) resources designed for the functioning of the tourism industry. In the narrow sense, the concept of "tourist resources" is used when talking about the potential of the development of tourism in a certain area, since, the tourist resources represent a complex of sociocultural, natural, climatic and other factors used in the production of the final product.

From the economic perspective, tourism resources can really be considered (be identified) as the main factors of production, since acquiring a reified form, for the purposes of tourism (see the point of view of Misko in table 1 ), they become the means of production of tourist products.

In the modern economic literature, considerable attention is paid to the natural and recreational resources that are considered to be the foundation of any of the tourism products (Reisberg, Lozovsky, & Starodubtseva, 2008). They include climate, landscape, flora, fauna, and the air and water resources. They characterize the territory from the standpoint of the natural-territorial complex. The most important function of natural and recreational resources is the possibility of their use as the means of recovering physical and spiritual power of a human being. Natural and recreational resources can be characterized from different points of view: geographical, biological, geological, environmental, etc. But economists consider them from the point of view of applicability to the creation of wealth and other benefits which are the final product in the sphere of tourism. If we consider material resources as a source for the production of tourism products, in the sphere of tourism these will be primarily fixed assets in the form of buildings of hotels, facilities, entertainment centers, tourist equipment and other material and technical resources of industry and tourism infrastructure. Monetary capital, in the form of investment in the development of tourism, and historical and cultural resources – a set of cultural monuments, created in the historical development of this particular territory and being the objects of tourist interest, can also be included in this category.

The human resources of tourism should include the population of working age, which potentially can be employed in the field of tourism in a particular area (Nurse, 2004). The population can obviously be ranked according to three criteria: socio-demographic, professional qualification and culture and education. Labour, as a factor of production in tourism, is paid greater attention, since the labour in the tourism sector is characterized by considerable heterogeneity. In general, employment in the tourism industry is characterized by seasonality and the presence of significant specific weight of low-skilled labour, on the one hand; and by small but highly skilled managerial labour, in the framework of which new forms, methods, technologies of the organization of tourism activities are used, on the other hand. A large proportion of youth and women's work should also be marked.

Along with that, the complex of tourist resources should be understood as a set of the tourist resources in use and the resources in the potential state (Jago, Chalip, Brown, Mules, & Shameem, 2003, p. 3), i.e. those that can be used to form artificial attractiveness of event tourism products.

This understanding of tourism resources is close to the position expressed by (Fedulin, Gavrilov, & Novikova ,2012, p.34). but contradicts it in the part, where these scientists, in the opinion of the author, artificially split the tourism and recreation potential into the resource potential of tourism and the potential of tourist resources. It should also be noted that this conception entirely focuses on tourism at the expense of recreation (Economics…, 2010). At the same time, the potential of recreation, as a combination of natural and social conditions for the organization of recreational activities in the territory (the author's understanding), occupies an equal position with the potential of tourism, forming an indivisible system of the tourist and recreational potential (Harris, Jago, Allen & Huyskens, 2001, p.221). Highlighting of the potential of tourism and that of recreation in this system is impractical (Hede, Jago & Deery, 2004, p.35)., since the potential elements in the sum will not be equal to it in unity (emergent property of any system).

In the author's view, the distinctive features of the category "the tourist and recreational potential", through which it manifests itself, are the following aspects.

  • The potential of tourism and recreation, first of all, is not a simple sum of tourist resources but a system, which provides mandatory complementarity and interchangeability of individual resources of the sphere of tourism and recreation in the process of public consumption.

  • The versatility of the most types of resources in tourism creates conditions for various combinations of their species and elements in order to achieve one and the same specified final result.

  • The composition of the tourism and recreation potential includes the resources which are designed for consumption in the current period, as well as the potential (but not implemented) possibility of the use of the tourist resources of the territory. So, the tourism and recreation potential determines also the potential (not only real) possibility of public consumption of tourism resources.

  • The potential of tourism and recreation characterizes not the entire stock of the existing tourist resources, but only the part that can be obtained with regard of the achieved level of scientific and technological progress and economic feasibility of involving it in public consumption (that is particularly important in the specially protected natural areas). Therefore, the potential of tourism and recreation includes only the stock of resources, consumption of which is possible and reasonable at this stage of social development.

  • The potential of tourism and recreation involves not only the existing system of tourist resources of the territory, but also alternative resources, i.e. new types of resources, not previously existed (or not used) on the territory.

Findings

The analysis of the approaches above enabled us to come to the following conclusions.

  • None of the analyzed sources gives a clear definition of the required concepts.

  • There are many authors’ points of view on the concept of the potential of tourism and recreation, but most of them boil down to its definition as a set of the concepts “tourism” and “recreation potential”, with the following analysis.

  • The specific content, which is put by different writers into these concepts, often proves to be quite complicated and controversial, as it relies on the terms that lack generally accepted professional interpretations and is dependent on the author’s point of view.

  • Most of the differences depend on:

    • the object, the potential of which is characterized;

    • the task for solving of which this potential can be used.

  • Considering the term "potential", most of the authors proceed from the position that the potential:

    • always implies a set of characteristics;

    • does not exist without connection with the specific task for solution of which it is defined.

  • Within the existing economic system and the variety of approaches, it is difficult to consider specific characteristics, since in shape the potential is usually expressed in material categories (in various indices or integrated assessments) or in the universal equivalent – money units.

As the result of the carried research and systematization of different scientific views, the author also comes to the conclusion that the concept of tourist resources is the basis of understanding the tourism potential. In fact, the tourism and recreation potential is often understood as the totality of available interrelated resources, the use of which allows achieving the desired socioeconomic effect. Therefore, the concept of tourist resources is very crucial.

Conclusion

Therefore, (the author's approach) the potential of the event tourism should be understood as a set of capabilities and abilities of the subjects in the tourism industry on the use of tourism resources in order to create the event tourism products, which are attractive for the unlimited range of consumers (tourists).

In the specified aspect, this understanding is close to the perception of event tourism in the foreign sources; however, abroad there is no uniform understanding of this term (Getz, 2008), as well.

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18 December 2019

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Verkhoturov*, D. (2019). Theoretical Aspects Of Formation Infrastructure Of Potential Of Event Tourism. In I. B. Ardashkin, B. Vladimir Iosifovich, & N. V. Martyushev (Eds.), Research Paradigms Transformation in Social Sciences, vol 50. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1343-1349). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.12.164