School of Business and Law
Qatar National Research Foundation
This study examines the effects of an unfavorable political event or environmental hostility, namely, a blockade affecting international tourist inflows, and how tourism market diversification (TMD) could mitigate the adverse effects in the case of Qatar. To quantify these effects, we adopted a standard tourism-demand model and augmented it with a Herfindahl index (HI) for the geographical diversification of tourism exports, a dummy variable for the blockade, and an interaction variable. We further analyzed the tourist inflows from various regions using regional dummies and their interaction terms to capture the different impacts of the blockade on Qatar’s inbound tourists from 46 source countries between 2006 and 2019. This study applied a panel-based differenced system-generalized method-of-moments estimation to reveal several interesting findings. First, there was a significant positive individual effect of TMD on inbound tourism. Second, during the blockade, Qatar witnessed growing tourist inflows from Asia and Australasia, the Americas, and Europe. However, the incident inevitably placed severe constraints on some tourist flows to Qatar, primarily from Middle Eastern and African countries. Moreover, although the HI has a positive impact on tourism growth, our study revealed that the interaction terms between the HI and the blockade are only statistically significant in some cases, implying that a diversification strategy cannot completely mitigate the harmful effects of a blockade on tourism due to the severity of blockade effect. Nevertheless, a TMD strategy appears to be successful at the individual level.
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Society and Culture
Human movement and performance