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Mapping Spatial Tourism and Hospitality Employment Clusters: An Application of Spatial Autocorrelation

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This article analyzes the characteristics and spatial clustering of tourism and hospitality employment clusters in Victoria, Australia. Using cluster theory as the theoretical base, three interrelated research questions are specifically addressed: What industries constitute the tourism and hospitality sector? What broader “groupings” does the sector exhibit? Are these tourism and hospitality industries clustered around strategic areas of economic and resource advantage? Using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (at the four-digit level), industries explicitly related to tourism and hospitality were first identified and total numbers of individuals working within these industries were aggregated at a level of Statistical Local Area (similar to a suburb or a neighborhood). Results show that in 2006 employment in tourism and hospitality equate to 7.74% of total employment in Australia. “Caf├ęs and restaurants” (22%) is the single largest tourism and hospitality-related employer, followed by “takeaway food services” (20%) and “accommodation” (16%). Using factor analysis, four broader functions were extracted to characterize the underlying structure and functional interdependency among tourism and hospitality industries. These functions include: tourism operational services, hospitality services, entertainment services, and infrastructure operational facilities services. Spatial autocorrelation measures have identified five established tourism and hospitality spatial clusters in Victoria, which we argue hold the potential to act as tourism growth foci to create business synergy and generate spill-over effects through regional collaboration, competition, and sharing of pooled resources between firms.
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Keywords: CLUSTER THEORY; GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS); SPATIAL AUTOCORRELATION; TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY SECTOR

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2013

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  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.
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