Evaluating the efficiency and determinants of mass tourism in Spain: a tourist area perspective

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Tourism is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors. This has piqued increasing interest in the evaluation of the performance of the sector. This paper joins this line of research by providing a potential framework for measuring efficiency in the context of a country such as Spain, where sun-and-sand tourism, usually associated with mass tourism, predominates. Tourist areas located on the coast provide the units of reference. Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is applied to determine the efficiency score and a Tobit-type model is employed to analyse the factors that determine efficiency. The results show that the impact of mass tourism on labour efficiency is geographically unequal, with the most efficient of the tourist areas located on the peninsular archipelagos. The analysis of the contribution of each input to the efficiency score reveals the pre-eminent role of tourism infrastructure as a lure for sun-and-sand tourism.
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Portuguese Economic Journal
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