readings and questions 1 –

I look forward to meeting you on Tuesday October 2, 2018 and having an engaging and thought-provoking class. In this week’s class we will investigate the issue of competitiveness in tourism at the national level, particularly through an economic lens.

Competitiveness will be considered from two perspectives. First, after agreeing on a working definition of tourism competitiveness, you will learn about the challenges of measurement through an OECD review. Second, you will critically consider the case of tourism competitiveness for Ethiopia and have an opportunity to advise the government. In conclusion, you will be asked if you believe competitiveness is a viable concept for governments to use and why (or why not).

The following provides an outline of how to be best prepared for this class.

PART I: The challenge of defining and measuring competitiveness

Defining “competitiveness” is a challenge with a myriad of perspectives and definitions. It is a term that is widely used but may have a different definition for every time it is uttered. In today’s tourism planning and policy environment, this challenge is further exacerbated by determining how to measure competitiveness.

InIndicators for Measuring Competitiveness in Tourism: A Guidance Document,the OECD presents a definition of tourism competitiveness and provides a discussion of the related measurement challenges.

  • ● Read pages 6-19
  • ● Is the OECD definition of tourism competitiveness adequate? Why or why not?
  • ● Pick a country that you are interested in and an indicator of competitiveness as presented by the OECD. Investigate how your country measures and presents competitiveness in general and for the specific indicator you have chosen. Come to class prepared to report on your specific example.
  • ● BONUS: What is the OECD? Are they an appropriate organization to be critically presenting tourism competitiveness measurement? PART II: Planning for Competitiveness Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa with significant population growth. Over the last decade, the government has recognized that to secure sustainable livelihoods for all Ethiopians, it needed to generate jobs and more jobs. Tourism was looked to as a sector with great potential. However, ten years ago, it was widely understood that Ethiopia’s tourism sector was not “competitive”. Recognizing this challenge, Ethiopia sought assistance from the World Bank. Following extensive primary and secondary research Ethiopia’s Tourism Sector: Strategic Paths to Competitiveness and Job Creation was prepared.


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In this reading, the issue of tourism competitiveness in Ethiopia is presented. You are to consider the government’s challenge critically.

  • ● Begin by doing a quick search on the Internet to see what Ethiopia has to offer tourists today in terms of sites and experiences. Would you include a visit on your bucket list? Why?
  • ● Read pages 22-57 of Ethiopia’s Tourism Sector: Strategic Paths to Competitiveness and Job Creation.
  • ● How is tourism competitiveness being measured in Ethiopia? Is it comprehensive and in alignment with the OECD reading?
  • ● With which country/destination is Ethiopia benchmarking itself against? Why? How does benchmarking contribute to determining competitiveness?
  • ● Draft a one paragraphemail to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia explaining your two suggestions for improving the country’s economic competitiveness in tourism and how you would recommend this be measured.

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