(Un)related variety, urban milieu and tourism-company differentiation


TOURISM GEOGRAPHIES, vol.18, no.4, pp.422-444, 2016 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14616688.2016.1200129
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.422-444
  • Keywords: Differentiation, related variety, unrelated variety, areal differentiation, innovation, tourism cities, ECONOMIC-DEVELOPMENT, CULTURAL TOURISM, INNOVATION, CLUSTERS, GROWTH, DIVERSIFICATION, COMPETITION, MANAGEMENT, INDUSTRY
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


High tourism growth in single-asset tourism cities is often associated with a standardization of supply of products and services by tourism entrepreneurs. However, and in contrast to this common-sense view, tourism growth in specific urban tourism milieus in the sun-sea-sand' tourism city of Antalya has stimulated tourism entrepreneurs to differentiate their products. Contrary to most economic-geography literature on spatial clusters, evolutionary economic geographers argue that inter-industry relations of (un)related variety are crucial in inter-firm differentiation. The aim of the paper is to define the factors that influence tourism-firm differentiation in the single-asset tourism city of Antalya. The empirical research is theoretically informed by evolutionary economic-geography literature, and pays much attention to the role different urban sub-milieus play in tourism-firm differentiation. It is the first research on the relation between (un)related variety and tourism-firm differentiation in tourism studies. The empirical research is based on primary data collected by a firm-level survey (hotels, restaurants, jewellery- and retail-trade firms) in the city of Antalya. The factors that influence tourism-firm differentiation are explored by using quantitative methods of analysis (an econometric logit-regression model and a correspondence analysis). The main result of the empirical research is that investments in firms in related sectors, in our case jewellery companies and hotels, are positively and significantly related to tourism-firm differentiation. In addition, the location tourism firms in areas visited by a mix of consumers (tourists and locals) also is positively and significantly related to inter-firm differentiation whereas urban milieus visited by locals only have a negative effect.