The Annals of Regional Science

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 469–490 | Cite as

Does having the right visitor mix do the job? Applying an econometric shift-share model to regional tourism developments

  • Matthias Firgo
  • Oliver Fritz
Original Paper


This paper is the first to apply an econometric shift-share model to tourism. The approach allows us to isolate the growth contributions of changes in regional touristic attractiveness from those induced by the structure of visitors, but does not share the caveats of the conventional shift-share approach. Our application to regional tourism in Austria reveals important results: First, differences in long-run performance between regions are mostly related to idiosyncratic changes in the tourist appeal of individual regions rather than a result of more or less favorable structures of visitors. Second, none of several mega-events during the period observed seem to have left prolonged positive effects on the tourist performance of the host regions. And third, performance appears uncorrelated with tourism intensity of a region. Thus, from a policy and destination management perspective, tourism authorities and local suppliers should mainly focus on upgrading the permanent destination attractiveness rather than investing too much effort into landing mega-events or targeting the visitor mix toward promising source markets.

JEL Classification

L83 M30 O14 O25 R58 



We thankfully acknowledge the helpful comments by Martin Falk, Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Harald Oberhofer, Dieter Pennerstorfer, Hannes Winner, and the participants of conferences and seminars in Innsbruck, Juiz de Fora, St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Washington, DC. We are also grateful to Sabine Ehn-Fragner and Susanne Markytan for their editorial and data support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)WienAustria

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