LEI researcher Vincent Linderhof presented his paper on the impact of Rural Development Program (RDP) measures on the growth of tourism and on the economy in rural areas at the 52nd European Congress of the Regional Science Association (ERSA) conference in Bratislava (Slovakia). The paper was co-authored by Stijn Reinhard.
In the presentation, LEI Wageningen UR first explored tourism in NUTS2 regions in the EU with a spatial data analysis and then applied spatial econometric analyses on tourism, where the RDP spending on the measures that encourage tourism was taken into account. For the spatial regression analyses, tourism indicators of the CMEF framework were used. The data were collected from Eurostat.
The spending on the RDP measures about the encouragement of tourism is not uniformly distributed over the NUTS 2 regions in the EU. The spatial analyses of tourism measured by the number of nights spent by non-residents showed the presence of spatial dependencies in tourism. Based on the spatial dependency tests of the classical regression model, a spatial error model was estimated. The number of bed places positively affected the total number of nights spent by non-residents.
The share of natural areas (forest and mountainous areas) has a positive effect on inbound (or incoming) tourism while the share of wetlands has a positive effect on domestic tourism. RDP spending on encouraging tourism has a small but significant impact on domestic rural tourism, while it has a small negative effect on inbound tourism. Moreover, RDP spending in neighbouring areas positively affects tourism in an area. Although the impact of RDP spending is small, spatial analyses are important to identify the real impact of spending in the case of tourism.