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The role and importance of clusters in tourism

Category: Nature | Date: 22.07.2014.

Today's global economy is based on clusters which are organized around various collaborations on common interests. A cluster is cooperation among separate companies which are operating in the same economic sector and can be found close to each other, but are working separately, too. Generally participants of the market are concerned, who are working together for common long-term interests, they recognize that the activities carried out jointly reduce their operating costs and increase the efficiency of their companies.

Cooperation is not only a fashionable trend in today's global economy, but a new, creative and successful form of organization, which is triggered by necessity, established and growing international competition. The complexity and flexibility are required in today's market from participants of the market, for this reason it is necessary, that former competitors form organizations to work together.

An intense competition is arising between the regions. The regions compete with each other to be able to attract and keep more guests in the given tourist region, by which the can benefit more from the social and economical effects of tourism. In this competitive situation only those regions will remain in business, which are capable of innovation keeping up with the requirements set by the modern age.

The tourist industry was also affected by the new market demands. Typically, tourist services in a particular region can become and remain marketable if they are able to establish and maintain a value for money with corresponding to market conditions. In addition, it is also essential if the rates are flexible, individually tailored to and able to follow the current consumer demands..

Changes can be observed in the roles defining the life of the region's tourism. Previously, the organizations in tourism focused only on promotion, direct marketing, but today tourism organizations in the region are facing an issue to attend: to organize and develop a system, a network among them. Previously, they had to determine with what methods they can most effectively sell their own tourism services. They published appealing, inviting tourist brochures, handed out fliers during traveling exhibitions, fairs tried to popularize their services. Nowadays, however, the key issues are with what methods they can become innovative, how they can design a marketable supply, how to be able to operate productively their service systems, how to create form their current tourist offers a marketable high quality and target group-oriented products and how these may form a homogeneous market unit.

To be a competitive tourism unit, operators need to recognize that unity; collective action in the market can bring economic benefits to everyone. Therefore, the cooperation among tourism organizations are organized on a voluntary basis and it always starts from the bottom of the pyramid. Most common causes and goals for cooperation between the tourist regions:

  • gaining the competitive advantage ont he market: visibility, market positioning,
  • Response to market challenges: the growing and increasingly specific market needs can only be provided on a professional level by a global organizational cooperation,
  • Trends: on the demand side, the quality and a wide range of supply appear
  • The situation of municipalities and service providers: tight budget the designing and ensuring of a professional supply can only be done in collaboration,
  • Funding Policy: regional development plans and the tendering schemes.

The South Transdanubian Ecotourism Clusteris an organization which was established in 2010. The main objective of the cluster was that cooperation started in the - Joining for Southern Transdanubian Active and Ecoturism Non-Profit Association with the DDOP's support for tenders to intensify it and make it more successful. Under the said tender number of products and services are planned to realize, which are directly or indirectly is an advantage for ecotourism operators in the region of Baranya.

List of common activities of the clusters without attempting to be comprehensive:

  • Establishment of regional eco-tourism certification scheme,.
  • The designing of the regional system for ecotourism holidays and big events
  • Exploration and promotion of "Best Practice" exercises,
  • Introduction of new methods in the field of environmental education (expansion of the special curriculum, production of an ecological board game, etc..)
  • Joint participation in travel trade fairs and events.

The Southern Transdanubian Ecotourism Cluster aim to help members with their tangible, new and extensive knowledge which might be useful in their work. Therefore they organize regular thematic workshops to various trainings and conferences on the current issues of sustainable development and ecotourism so the members of the cluster can obtain useful information. Members may request assistance and advice on the creation of the HACCP system, can participate in field trips abroad, in which they can learn about the professionally outstanding forms of ecotourism. During the "Eco-tourism Days" series of programs every member can participate with at least one program for the organizing financial and marketing support are provided, for the members professional and financial support is provided as well in more areas.