REFLECTIONS OF COUNTRY IMAGE ON TOURISM: A COMPARISON BETWEEN TURKEY AND POLAND
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The fall of communist regime in the former USSR resulting in collapsing of Iron Curtain in 1989 as the most significant political changes of this new era have resulted in liberalization and efforts to establish market economy in former Eastern Bloc countries of Europe. Poland as one of the EU members today takes its place among transition economies in the world. On the other hand, Turkey as one of the long-term candidates of EU and a part of liberal world has an emerging economy. Both of the countries have suffered from difficulties of transformational forces of new world order and image problems due to the changes of new era. Tourism as one of the most important sectors of global economy has serious impacts on countries’ development efforts –whether they are developed or developing ones- with its different dimensions. Tourism’s role in economic development cannot be denied because for all open economies, tourism is accepted globally as a leading sector in increasing revenues. In order to benefit from positive impacts of tourism, besides other factors supporting tourism development, countries have to gain competitive advantage over their rivals in the fierce competitiveness of tourism sector. Therefore, for countries which want to be one of the leaders in tourism sector, creating a strong country image can be considered as a mean to gain competitive advantage. In this study, comparisons of two countries in the field of tourism are made based on SWOT analysis and impacts of country images of the both countries are evaluated to make suggestions to improve competitiveness of them.
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