Territorial dimension in the internationalization of tourism destinations: Structuring factors in the post-COVID19


  • Maria do Rosário Campos Mira Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra
  • Lisete Mendes Mónico University of Coimbra
  • Zélia Jesus Breda University of Aveiro


Internationalization, tourism destinations, border, economic activity, resources


This study presents an empirical validation of the territorial factors which contribute to the internationalization of tourism destinations. It is part of a broader investigation in which the dimensions and factors of tourism destinations’ internationalization were identified and four dimensions were validated: ‘territory’, ‘product’, ‘governance’ and ‘DMOs’. Here we present the path taken in terms of explaining the 'territorial' dimension. A cross-sectional study was carried out on Portuguese DMOs (n=470) with responsibilities in the areas of tourism and local or regional development. A questionnaire was elaborated and submitted to content, reliability and construct validations through exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. For this purpose, we considered both a first and second order factor structure. The results sustain that the territorial factors influencing the internationalization of destinations are ‘resources’ (Factor 1), ‘economic activity’ (Factor 2) and ‘border’ (Factor 3). The relationship between political options of destinations’ internationalization and territories’ geographical, cultural and economic characteristics were determined. It is this relationship that forms the foundation of tourism in times of crisis, such as we are currently experiencing.

Author Biographies

  • Maria do Rosário Campos Mira, Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra
    Coimbra Education School
  • Lisete Mendes Mónico, University of Coimbra
    Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
  • Zélia Jesus Breda, University of Aveiro

    Department of Economics, management, industrial engineering and tourism


Abraham, V., Bremser, K., Carreno, M., Crowley-Cyr, L. & Moreno, M. (2021). Exploring the consequences of COVID-19 on tourist behaviors: Perceived travel risk, animosity and intentions to travel. Tourism Review, 76(4), 701-717. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-07-2020-0344

Aish, A., & Jöreskog, K. (1990). A panel model for political efficacy and responsiveness: An application of LISREL 7 with weighted least squares. Quality and Quantity, 24(4), 716-723.

Araújo, P. (2013). Os fatores críticos de sucesso na internacionalização de um espaço geográfico: Uma aplicação do modelo do tripé estratégico ao caso de Arcos de Valdevez. Masters Dissertation, Universidade do Porto, Porto.

Arbolino, R., Boffardi, R., De Simone, L., & Ioppolo, G.(2021). Multi-objective optimization technique: A novel approach in tourism sustainability planning. Journal of Environmental Management, 285, 112016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112016

Arbuckle, J. L. (2013). Amos 22 user’s guide. Chicago, IL: SPSS.

Author (2019a). Internacionalização de destinos turísticos: Uma abordagem sistémica. BeauBassin, Mauritius: Novas Edições Acadêmicas, OmniScriptumPublishing.

Author (2020). Quality in tourism from the perspective of the local Portuguese public decision-makers: The case study of Portugal’s Centro Region. Revista Portuguesa de Estudos Regionais, 56, 19-41.

Author, (2019b). Internacionalização de destinos turísticos: O papel das DMO. In C. Estevão & C. Costa (Eds.), Turismo, estratégia, competitividade e desenvolvimento regional: Uma visão estratégica no setor do turismo (pp. 19-42). Beau Bassin, Mauritius: Novas Edições Acadêmicas, OmniScriptum Publishing.

Badulescu, D., Hoffman, I., Badulescu, A, & Badulescu, R. (2016). Local authorities’ involvement in fostering Hungarian-Romanian cross-border cooperation in tourism. Lex Localis, Journal of Local Self-Government, 14(3), 337-358. https://doi.org/10.4335/14.3.337-358(2016)

Bagozzi, R., & Yi, Y. (1988). On the evaluation of structural equation models. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 16 (1), 74-94.

Bannò, M., Piscitello, L., & Varum, C. (2015). Determinants of the internationalization of regions: The role and effectiveness of public policy measures. Regional Studies, 49(7), 1208-1222. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2013.821570

Bentler, P. (1990). Quantitative methods in psychology: Comparative fit indices in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, 107(2), 238-246.

Bernabé, C., & Hernández, M. (2016). Turismo en Albarracín y Comarca: Acción pública local y dinâmica reciente en clave de desarrollo turístico sostenible. Anales de Geografía de la Universidad Complutense, 36(1), 173-194. https://doi.org/10.5209/rev_AGUC.2016.v36.n1.52718

Blasco, D., Guia, J., & Prats, L. (2014a). Emergence of governance in cross-border destinations. Annals of Tourism Research, 49, 159–173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2014.09.002

Blasco, D., Guia, J., & Prats, L. (2014b). Tourism destination zoning in mountain regions: A consumer-based approach. Tourism Geographies, 16(3), 512-528. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2013.851267

Bohlin, M., Brandt, D., & Elbe, J. (2016). Tourism as a vehicle for regional development in peripheral areas – myth or reality? A longitudinal case study of Swedish regions. European Planning Studies, 24(10), 1788-1805. doi:10.1080/09654313.2016.1194807

Bollen, K. A. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables. New York: Wiley.

Booyens, I. (2016). Global–local trajectories for regional competitiveness: Tourism innovation in the Western Cape. Local Economy, 31(1–2), 142–157. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269094215618598

Booyens, I., & Rogerson, C. M. (2015). Creative tourism in Cape Town: An innovation perspective. Urban Forum, 26, 405–424. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12132-015-9251-y

Booyens, I., & Rogerson, C. M. (2016). Unpacking the geography of tourism innovation in Western Cape Province, South Africa. Bulletin of Geography, Socio-economic Series, 31, 19–36. https://doi.org/10.1515/bog-2016-0002

Bornhorst, J. R., Ritchie, B., & Sheehan, L. (2010). Determinants of tourism success for DMOs & destination: An empirical examination of stakeholders’ perspectives. Tourism Management, 31, 572-589. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2009.06.008

Brouder, P., Ioannides, D. (2014). Urban tourism and evolutionary economic geography: Complexity and co-evolution in contested spaces. Urban Forum, 25, 419-430. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12132-014-9239-z

Brown, T. A. (2015). Confirmatory factor analysis for applied research (2nd Ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

Byrne, B. M. (2010). Structural equation modeling with AMOS: Basic concepts, applications and programming (2nded.). London: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Chica, M., Hernández, J.M., & Bulchand-Gidumal, J. (2021). A collective risk dilemma for tourism restrictions under the COVID?19 context. Scientific Reports, 11(5043). https://doi.org/10.1038/s4155498-021-84604-z

Clavé, S., & Wilson, J. (2017). The evolution of coastal tourism destinations: A path plasticity perspective on tourism urbanisation. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 25(1), 96-112. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2016.1177063

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioural sciences (2nd Ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

?orak, S., Živoder, S.B., & Maruši?, Z. (2021). Opportunities for tourism recovery and development during and after COVID-19: Views of tourism scholars versus tourism practitioners. Tourism, 68(4), 434-449. https://doi.org/10.37741/t.68.4.5

Costello, A. B., & Osborne, J. W. (2005). Best practices in exploratory factor analysis: Four recommendations for getting the most from your analysis. Practical Assessment Research &Evaluation, 10(7), 1-9.

De Noni, I., Orsi, L., & Zanderighi, L. (2014). Attributes of Milan in?uencing city brand attractiveness. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 3, 218–226. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdmm.2014.06.001

Della-Corte, V. (2013). Innovation in tradition-based firms: Dynamic knowledge for international competitiveness. European Journal of Innovation Management, 16(4), 405-439

Escach, N., & Vaudor, S. (2014). Réseaux de villes et processus de recomposition des niveaux: Le cas des villes baltiques. Cybergeo: European Journal of Geography, 679, 1-24. https://doi.org/10.4000/cybergeo.26336

Farmaki, A. (2015). Regional network governance and sustainable tourism. Tourism Geographies,17(3), 385-407. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2015.1036915

Ferdinand, N., & Williams, N. (2013). International festivals as experience production systems. Tourism Management, 34, 202-210. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2012.05.001

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), 39-50.

Getz, D., & Page, S. (2016). Progress and prospects for event tourism research. Tourism Management, 52, 593-631. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2015.03.007

Gorsuch, R. (1983). Factor analysis. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Gyimóthy, S., Pérez, S.M., Meged, J.W., & Wilson, J. (2020). Editorial: Contested spaces in the sharing Economy. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism. 20(3), 205-211. https://doi.org/10.1080/15022250.2020.1789502

Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L., & Black, W. C. (2009). Multivariate data analysis (7th ed.). Pearson Prentice-Hall.

Ivars-Baidal, J.A., Celdrán-Bernabeu, M.A., Femenia-Serra, F., Perles-Ribes, J.F., & Giner-Sánchez, D. (2021). Measuring the progress of smart destinations: The use of indicators as a management tool. Journal of Destination Marketing and Management, 19(100531). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdmm.2020.100531

Jöreskog, K. G., & Sörbom, D. (2004). LISREL 8.7 for Windows [Computer Software]. Lincolnwood, IL: Scientific Software International, Inc.

Kallmuenzer, A., Lorenzo, D., Siller, E., Rojas, A., & Kraus, S. (2021). Antecedents of good governance of hospitality family firms. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. https://doi.org/10.1177/1465750320981593

Kline, R. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (3rded.). New York: The Guilford Press.

León-Gómez, A., Ruiz-Palomo, D., Fernández-Gámez, M.A., & García-Revilla, M.R. (2021). Sustainable tourism development and economic growth: Bibliometric review and analysis. Sustainability (Switzerland), 13(4), 2270, 1-20. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042270

Makkonen, M., & Rohde, S. (2016). Cross-border regional innovation systems: Conceptual backgrounds, empirical evidence and policy implications. European Planning Studies, 24(9), 1623-1642. https://doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2016.1184626

Makkonen, T., & Weidenfeld, A. (2016). Knowledge-based urban development of cross-border twin cities. International Journal Knowledge-Based Development, 7(4), 389–406.

Makkonen, T., & Williams, A. M. (2016). Border region studies: The structure of an ‘offbeat’ field of regional studies. Regional Studies, Regional Science, 3(1), 355-367. https://doi.org/10.1080/21681376.2016.1209982

Marôco, J. (2010). Análise estatística com utilização do SPSS (3ª ed.). Lisboa: Edições Sílabo.

Marôco, J. (2011). Análise de equações estruturais: Fundamentos teóricos, software & aplicações. Pêro Pinheiro: Report Number.

Marôco, J., & Garcia-Marques, T. (2006). Qual a fiabilidade do alfa de Cronbach? Questões antigas e soluções modernas? Laboratório de Psicologia, 4(1), 65-90.

Matiza, T. (2020). Post-COVID-19 crisis travel behaviour: Towards mitigating the effects of perceived risk. Journal of Tourism Futures, ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JTF-04-2020-0063

Nilsson, J. H., Eskilsson, L., & Ek, R. (2010). Creating cross-border destinations: Interreg programmes and regionalisation in the Baltic Sea Area. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 10(2), 153-172. https://doi.org/10.1080/15022250903561978

Nunnally, J. C. (1978).Psychometric theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Nunnally, J. C., & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric theory (3rd. Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Pillmayer, M., & Scherle, N. (2014). The tourism industry and the process of internationalization in the Middle East: The example of Jordan. International Journal of Tourism Research, 16, 329-339.

Rovira, N. (2016). ¿Ciudades en el mapa o en la guía turística? Venta de la ciudad y sentido del lugar. Revista CIDOB d’Afers Internacionals, 113, 89-105.

Sakharchuk, E., Kharitonova, T., Krivosheeva, T., & Ilkevich, S. (2013). The study of the present state and prospects of cultural tourism in the Russian Federation (Exemplifying Moscow Region). World Applied Sciences Journal, 27, 309-314. https://doi.org/10.5829/idosi.wasj.2013.27.elelc.64

Sanz-Ibáñez, C., & Clavé, S. (2014). The evolution of destinations: Towards an evolutionary and relational economic geography approach. Tourism Geographies, 16(4), 563-579. https://doi.org/10.1080.14616688.2014.925965

Sarasa, J. (2015). Mito y estrategias para un destino romántico: La ciudad de Teruel. Cuadernos de Turismo, 36, 39-54. https://doi.org/10.6018/turismo.36.230871

Schumacker, R. E. & Lomax, R. G. (2012). A beginner’s guide to structural equation modeling. New York: Routledge Academic.

Scuttari, A., Volgger, M., & Pechlaner, H. (2016). Transition management towards sustainable mobility in Alpine destinations: Realities and realpolitik in Italy's South Tyrol region. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 24(3), 463-483. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2015.1136634

Sertakova, E., Koptseva, N., Kolesnik, M., Libakova, N., Luzan, V., & Sergeeva, N. (2016). Brand-management of Siberian cities: Krasnoyarsk as a case study. International Review of Management and Marketing, 6(5), 185-191.

Sheller, M. (2020): Reconstructing tourism in the Caribbean: connecting pandemic recovery, climate resilience and sustainable tourism through mobility justice. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 29(9), 1436-1449. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2020.1791141

Soares, J., Baidal, J., & Gândar, J. (2015). La evolución de destinos turísticos litorales consolidados: Análisis comparado de balneario Camboriú (Brasil) y Benidorm (España). Anales de Geografía,35(2), 143-166. https://doi.org/10.5209/revAGUC.2015.v35.n2.50118

Spyriadis, T., Fletcher, J., & Fyall, A. (2013). Destination management organisational structures. In C. Costa, E. Panyik, & D. Buhalis (Eds.), Trends in European tourism planning and organization (pp.77-91). Bristol: Channel View Publications.

Szytniewski, B., Spierings, B., & van der Velde, M. (2017). Socio- cultural proximity, daily life and shopping tourism in the Dutch-German border region. Tourism Geographies, 19(1), 63-77. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2016.1233289

Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2013). Using multivariate statistics (6th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education.

Timothy, D., Saarinen, J., & Viken, A. (2016). Editorial: Tourism issues and international borders in the Nordic Region. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 16(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1080/15022250.2016.1244504

Urbina, S. (2014). Essentials of psychological testing. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Vermeulen, R. (2015). Pursuing the peripheral path? A path-dependent analysis of the Frankfurt and Munich fairs. European Planning Studies, 23(2), 332-348. https://doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2013.867318

Vodeb, K., & Rudež, H. (2016). Possibilities for inter-destination collaboration in tourism in the case of Opatija and Portorož: A managerial perspective. Revija Za Sociologiju, 46(2), 205–227. https://doi.org/10.5613/rzs.46.2.4

Volgger, M., & Pechlaner, H. (2015). Governing networks in tourism: What have we achieved, what is still to be done and learned? Tourism Review, 70(4), 298–312. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-04-2015-0013

Weidenfeld, A. (2013). Tourism and cross border regional innovation systems. Annals of Tourism Research,42, 191-213. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2013.01.003

Wickramasinghe, K., & Ratnasiri, S. (2020). The role of disaggregated search data in improving tourism forecasts: Evidence from Sri Lanka. Current Issues in Tourism. https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2020.1849049

Wi?ckowski, M., & Ceri?, D. (2016). Evolving tourism on the Baltic Sea coast: Perspectives on change in the Polish maritime borderland. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 16(1), 98-111. https://doi.org/10.1080/15022250.2016.1244598






Tourism/Hospitality: Research Papers

How to Cite

Mira, M. do R. C., Mónico, L. M., & Breda, Z. J. (2021). Territorial dimension in the internationalization of tourism destinations: Structuring factors in the post-COVID19. Tourism & Management Studies, 17(4), 33-44. https://tmstudies.net/index.php/ectms/article/view/1538

Most read articles by the same author(s)