عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction and purpose of Study:
Tourism has undergone fundamental and extensive changes in the last three decades and in the post-revolutionary environment of information and communication technologies, trade liberalization and globalization. This situation, especially in the last decade, has attracted the attention of destination managers and policymakers to the opportunities created by these vast changes in the tourist destinations, so that they can take an innovative and smart approach to create and gain a competitive advantage in tourism and increase the competitiveness of destinations. A review of research background shows that no similar research has been done on the effect of the smartness on the competitiveness of Yazd. Therefore, the city of Yazd has been selected as the subject of this study to investigate how the impact of the smartness on the competitiveness of this urban tourism destination, considering the current situation of this destination in the field of smartness and competitiveness. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of smartness on the competitiveness of the tourist destination of Yazd.
This research in terms of its’ goal is developmental; in terms of the nature and method of research is descriptive-analytical; in terms of time horizon, it is cross-sectional; and in terms of data collection and analysis can be divided into two stages. In the first stage, using the methods of collecting and analyzing archival data, components and indicators of smartness and competitiveness of urban tourism destinations and the basic conceptual model of the research that shows the relationships between variables and their components are designated. In the second stage, after validating the components and indicators or items for measuring smartness and competitiveness, an online questionnaire has been designed to collect data. Structural equation modeling (SEM) technique, which is one of the multivariate modeling methods, has been used to analyze the data.
In the first phase, with the method of analyzing archival data, the previous researches were collected and combined, the components and indicators of smartness and competitiveness of tourist destinations measurement were determined, and the findings were validated using the opinion of tourism experts. Based on the results of validating the findings and determining the validity of the content, out of 106 initial indicators, 99 assessment indicators including 57 smartness indicators and 42 competitiveness indicators of urban tourism destinations were approved and selected. In addition, based on the opinion and suggestion of tourism experts, the necessary corrections were made in the field of rewriting or simplifying some of the approved indicators.
In the second phase, using the structural equation modeling method with partial least squares approach, Smart PLS software and a questionnaire tool, the effect of smartness on the competitiveness of Yazd tourist destination was measured based on the opinion of experts. The PLS method for evaluating the measurement models of structural equation models covers three parts: 1. Section related to measurement models, 2. Structural part, and 3. General part of the model. Considering the results of reliability, convergent validity and divergent validity, the measurement model has a good fit. The results of second section of the implementation of PLS method show that the amount of variability of the endogenous structural indexes of the structural model (competitiveness) of the exogenous structure of the model (smartness) is appropriate. GOF fit goodness criterion has been used to evaluate the overall model fit. According to the results, the value of the goodness-of-fit index is 0.740 (more than 0.36), so the overall model has a strong fit.
Results and conclusion:
No similar research has been done on the effect of the smartness on the competitiveness of Yazd. However, in some researches related to the development of tourism in this destination, the status of some indicators of smartness and competitiveness has been mentioned. However, more direct and indirect research has been done on the competitiveness of Yazd tourist destinations. In general, a review of the results of previous research shows that the smartness and the competitiveness of this destination is not appropriate. Therefore, it can be claimed that the unsatisfactory state of the smartness of the tourist destination of Yazd in the main components and indicators has a negative impact on its competitiveness and has reduced its competitiveness compared to the competitors. The results showed that the conceptual model of the research has an acceptable fit and the smartness affects the competitiveness of Yazd tourist destination. The confirmation of the effect of smartness on competitiveness and determining the components of this effect in a comprehensive and systematic framework is the distinguishing point of the present study compared to previous studies that have examined each aspect of smartness and competitiveness.