Study into the tourist attractiveness of Lubuskie Province municipalities using the aggregate measure

Abstract

Object: A special feature of contemporary economy is that processes occurring within it are characterised by growing dynamics and spatial diversification. One of the important phenomena in the development of each region or municipality is the tourist traffic taking place in their territory. Benefits associated with it include: improvement of living standards, increase in demand and income, reduced unemployment rate, development of infrastructure, sustenance of local crafts. Tourism is thus becoming an important way to revive the regional and local economy.

Methods: In this paper, the Lubuskie Province was subjected to statistical research in this respect.

Findings: A general characteristic of tourism development in the region was prepared and an attempt was made to assess the tourist attractiveness of municipalities using an aggregate measure with the median value.

Conclusions: The ranking of municipalities obtained on the basis of this measure was compared with the rankings obtained for other commonly used aggregate measures. The study accounts for data obtained from various sources for the year 2018.

Introduction

From the point of view of a regional economy, region means a set of areas bordering on each other, distinguished in terms of similar criteria in relation to adjacent areas (Korenik, 2011). Region understood this way is an important subject of research; in tourism sciences, too. Considering the place that tourism takes in the region's economy, it should be considered a specialization, i.e. one of the socio-economic roles fulfilled there. In line with the definition, it is understood as an activity directed at providing services to tourists that the region fulfils in the economic system, as well as the effects and consequences of this activity exerted upon the spatial structure and economic life of the region (Kruczek, Źтуśİопу, 2010). Therefore, tourism can be treated as a socio-economic function of the region. The theory of economic base holds that it is an exogenous supra-regional function that co-determines the strength of the region and conditions of its development. It also points out that for many regions tourism has become an important factor that has contributed to their development and better economic functioning (Panasiuk, 2007). Benefits resulting from the fall in unemployment, infrastructure development and income increase mean that more and more regions can see opportunities related to tourism in their development.

The terms directly related to the development of tourism are tourist traffic and tourist attractiveness. Tourist traffic is defined as a social phenomenon involving the spatial movement of people into areas and to tourist destinations (Kornak, 1997). The main factors that caused mass tourism to take shape are the growing level of income of the population and the increasing amount of leisure time devoted to tourism. The increase in demand for various types of tourist service is caused by both the growing number of its participants and structural changes in tourist traffic (forms of tourist consumption, traffic structure and demand, travel range, spatial range).

On the other hand, tourist attractiveness is understood as the property of an area or town resulting from a set of natural or non-natural features that arouse interest and attract tourists (Kurek, 2007). In traditional terms, all objects of interest to tourists are considered to be “tourist attractions”. Currently, due to the popularization of tourism and the increase in the role of culture in its development, this concept has been expanded to include cultural and sporting events, entertainment and other. It also takes into account the level of accommodation prices, food standards, tourist facilities and technical infrastructure (Halemba, Mrozowicz, 2013). Factors such as: products of local artists, regional cuisine, attitude of local people towards tourists, tourist information and promotion, favourable communication location also play a role.

The literature points out to the following values that define the tourist attractiveness of a region: natural, recreational, cultural and specialist (Ibidem). Natural ones come from: national parks, landscape parks, zoos,botanical gardens, historic parks, viewpoints, gorges, caves and lakes. Leisure ones that allow for regeneration and rest are: low urbanization, clean air, leisure and recreation centres, healing properties of waters, availability of recreation areas and conditions for active leisure. Cultural values include monuments of architecture and construction created in the process of historical development, artefacts of folk material culture and non-material culture works such as folklore, rituals and traditions. Specialist values are, in turn, components and qualities of the natural environment that enable specialized tourism, in particular: sailing, canoeing, riding and hunting.

The Lubuskie Province Development Strategy 2020 states that in light of the natural and cultural values existing in the province, tourism can and should become an important pillar of socio-economic development (Źагźąđ Wojew0dztwa, 2012). Referring to the above statement, the aim of the study was to prepare general characteristics of its development in the region and to make an attempt to assess the tourist attractiveness of municipalities using an aggregate measure with the median. The research conducted accounted for statistical data from resources kept by various institutions. The data refer to the 2018 conditions.

Method

According to the theory of tourism, in order to examine the tourist attractiveness of a given municipality or district, the value of resources that shape it should be assessed (Halemba, Mrozowicz, 2013). Statistically speaking, a number of methods can be discerned that allow to assess the tourist potential of the studied area. These include the following methods: Hellwig's development pattern (Hellwig, 1968), Cieślak (Cieślak, 1974), rank method (Siedlecka, 1999), zero unitarization (Kukula, 2000), Walesiak's (Walesiak, 2006).

An interesting proposition that can also be used to assess the tourist attractiveness of municipalities is the Strahl method (Strahl, 2001, 2006). The essence of this method is to determine the aggregate measure, which in its construction uses the median and standard deviation. Aggregate measures built on the principle of averaging variables have a disadvantage, which is the sensitivity of the average to extreme values, and especially to high values of the variable. The use of median in the construction of aggregate measures means that extreme values do not affect the average level of the variable. The standard deviation takes into account the effect of variation in the variable values of a given object on the level of the measure obtained.

The construction of an aggregate measure with a median is as follows:

1. In the set of variables {x1,x2,...,xm} that characterize the examined municipalities {P1,P2,...,Pk}, the following are distinguished: stimulants, destimulants and nominants. Numerical values are arranged in the matrix:

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Tourism in Lubuskie Province against the background of other provinces

Situated on the Polish-German border, Lubuskie Province is one of the smaller regions in the country. The province has the area of 13,988 km2, which constitutes 4.47 % of Poland (US Zielona G0ra, 2019). The region has a population of 1,014,548 and a population density of 72.5 people per km2. The number of employed in the province for 2018 is 357,724 people. The sections directly related to tourism, such as accommodation and catering, with culture, entertainment and leisure accompanying the former, indicate that 2.72 % of the inhabitants is actively employed. GDP per capita of the province is at the level of PLN 45,317. In this respect, it ranks 9th among all regions in the country.

The province has its tourist values because it is a valuable natural area. A characteristic feature of the region is the largest afforestation in Poland. The share of forests is 49.3 % of the total area of the province. Protected areas in the region include: 2 national parks, 8 landscape parks and 64 nature reserves (Uι^d Mar- szalkowski, 2019). It chiefly is woodland and lakesides and riversides that show a variety in the plant, fowl and animal composition. The major watercourses are the Odra, Warta, Noteć, Nysa Luζycka, Obra and Bóbr rivers. It has to be stressed out that the region is often called the Five-Hundred-Lakeland. The total area of the lakes is 13.4 hectare while Lake Slawskie has the area of 828 hectare.

These, however aside, as it is the bed and breakfast facilities and the number of visitors that show that the region is developing. In the Province of Lubuskie some 300 B&B facilities are available. To be more specific, these are: 66 hotels, 14 motels, 13 boarding houses, 43 other hotel facilities, 9 hostels, 31 holiday centres and youth camps, 22 training and leisure centres, 45 offering agritourism lodgings and guest rooms, 21 complexes of tourist houses, 13 campsites and field camping sites, 23 otherwise not classified. The database has 18,512 beds, of which 11 083 are all-year beds. In total, 687,751 tourists used them in 2018. They were provided with 1,429,521 nights, including 327,190 nights for foreign tourists.

Indicators of tourism development in relative terms compared to other provinces are presented in table 1.

 

Table 1. Indicators of tourism development in Lubuskie Province as compared to other provinces for 2018

 

Lubuskie Province

Min

Max

Rank

Number of tourist facilities per 100 km2

2.14

1.39

9.95

9

Number of beds per 100 inhabitants

1.82

0.95

8.10

6

Tourists using accommodation per 100 inhabitants

67.7

42.4

178.6

7

Number of nights spent per 100 inhabitants

140.8

90.0

889.8

10

Average number of nights per one user

2.08

1.76

4.98

12

Occupancy rate of beds in %

29.8

29.2

51.6

15

Number of nights spent for foreign tourists per 100 inhabitants

32.2

8.48

225.1

6

Source — own work based on (GUS, 2019)

In Lubuskie there are 2.14 accommodation facilities per 100 km2, which gives it 9th place among other regions in the country. However, the province has some opportunities for tourism development. This is indicated, for example, by the Baretje tourist function indicator. He informs that due to the number of beds, which is 1.82 per 100 inhabitants, the region occupies even 6th place in the country. The position of the province is also relatively high, taking into account the intensity of Schneider tourism. The number of users of accommodation reaches 67.7 per 100 inhabitants and in this respect it occupies the 7th position. The province performs worse in light of the Charvat saturation index. The number of overnight stays is at the level of 140.8 per 100 inhabitants, which means that it is only in the 10th position. The average number of nights per tourist is also low. It is 2.08 in the region, while in other provinces it reaches up to 4.98 nights. This results in the fact that the region has a low level of utilization of bed places. It amounts to 29.8 % and it is last but one level among all provinces.

On the other hand, the border location and natural values are a chance for the development of tourism in Lubuskie, next to the accommodation base it possesses. This can be demonstrated by the number of overnight stays provided to foreign tourists. It amounts to 32.2 per 100 inhabitants in the region, being the 6th value of the indicator in the country. Tourists from Germany (30.6 %) and Ukraine (24.8 %) dominate among them. While, the virtues of forests and numerous lakes can promote the development of various forms of recreational and leisure tourism, as well as active tourism: water, cycling, hiking, Nordic walking, riding, hunting, fishing. Among the most important tourist attractions of the region are: Kayaking Trips of Lubrza, Lubniewickie Zander Festival, Festival Pol'and Rock in Kostrzyn nad θdrɑ, Joanite Fair in Łаĝóŵ, the underground of Мİęđźугźескİ Fortified Region, Ark of Muζa^w Geopark (LOTUR, 2019).

Tourist Attractiveness of Province Municipalities

The tourist attractiveness of a given area and municipality results from its natural and anthropogenic values (Gokbski, 1999). Important in this respect are: the existing hotel base, catering facilities, entertainment offer and existing monuments in a given municipality. The condition of the natural environment and activities related to its protection play an important role. The image of the tourist product of the municipality and the role of marketing in its promotion are also significant.

In order to take into account the above-mentioned aspects, when assessing the tourist attractiveness of municipalities of the Lubuskie Province, an attempt was made to consider the widest possible set of diagnostic variables. To complete the task data from the Local Data Bank kept by the Chief Statistical Office (GUS, 2019), Chief Land Survey and Cartography Office (GUGiK, 2019) and Lubuskie Province Historic Preservation Officer (Rejestr zabytkow, 2019) were derived. Initially, 29 variables were selected for which data for the year 2018 were available. Out of this set, with substantive criteria applied, 11 variables were selected for the construction of the aggregate measure. This set ultimately consists (cf. Balmska, 2016):

x1 — woodland share in % of the total area of the municipality,

x area with special natural values in % of the municipality area,

x3 — number of lakes, ponds, and man-made lakes per each 100 km2 of the municipality area,

x number of tourist accommodation establishments per 10,000 inhabitants,

x number of beds per 100 inhabitants,

x number of foreign tourists per 100 inhabitants,

x number of overnight stays provided to foreign tourists per 100 inhabitants,

x8 — number of businesses active in the catering services (Section 56) per 100 inhabitants,

x number of historic places per 100 km2 of the area of the municipality,

x10  length of bicycle paths per 100 km2 of the area of the municipality,

x11  expenditure on tourism, culture and protection of the national heritage in % of total expenditure out of the municipality purse.

Detailed analysis indicates a high diversity of municipalities due to the considered diagnostic variables. Coefficients of variation determined for them range from 35.1 % to 399.7 %. They visibly exceed the minimal level of variability which usually is 10.0 %.

An aggregate measure with the median Strahl was used to assess the synthetic tourist attractiveness of the region's municipalities. According to the test procedure, the variables were normalized. Since all of the variables are stimulants, a quotient transformation with a base equal to the maximum value was used for this purpose. The ranking of tourist attractiveness of municipalities is presented in table 2.

Table 2. Ranking of tourist attractiveness of Lubuskie Province municipalities for the year 2018 obtained using an aggregate measure with a median

No.

Municipality

ωk

No.

Municipality

ωk

No.

Municipality

ωk

1.

Lag0w

0.453

29.

Dąbie

0.083

57.

Santok

0.026

2.

Lubniewice

0.304

30.

Dobiegniew

0.078

58.

Deszczno

0.025

3.

Pszczew

0.290

31.

Rzepin

0.077

59.

Czerwiehsk

0.024

4.

Osno Lubuskie

0.231

 

Zab0r

0.077

 

Krosno Odrzahskie

0.024

5.

Slawa

0.221

33.

Sulscin

0.073

61.

Nowogr0d Bobrzahski

0.023

6.

Lgknica

0.195

34.

Misdzyrzecz

0.071

62.

Ζary rural

0.018

7.

Torzym

0.194

35.

Tuplice

0.067

63.

Przew0z

0.017

8.

skɑpe

0.179

36.

Gubin

0.064

64.

Malomice

0.015

9.

Slubice

0.177

 

Ilowa

0.064

65.

-Swidnica

0.011

10.

Bobrowice

0.157

38.

Witnica

0.056

 

Stare Kurowo

0.011

ɪɪ.

Drezdenko

0.143

39.

^tyh

0.055

67.

Ζagah rural

0.010

12.

Przytoczna

0.133

40.

Zielona G0ra

0.054

 

Bojadla

0.010

13.

Trzciel

0.124

41.

Kostrzyn nad θdrɑ

0.053

 

Szlichtyngowa

0.010

14.

Bledzew

0.120

 

Ζary

0.053

70.

Bogdaniec

0.009

15.

Kolsko

0.119

43.

Nowe Miasteczko

0.052

71.

Zwierzyn

0.006

16.

Nowa Sol

0.114

 

Krzeszyce

0.052

72.

Jasieh

0.004

17.

Slonsk

0.110

45.

Gorz0w Wlkp.

0.047

73.

Maszewo

0.003

18.

Kargowa

0.109

46.

Ζagah

0.046

 

Trzebiech0w

0.003

19.

Bytnica

0.108

47.

Skwierzyna

0.045

 

Siedlisko

0.003

20.

Strzelce Krajehskie

0.099

48.

Nowa Sol rural

0.043

76.

Niegoslawice

0.002

21.

Bytom Odrzański

0.095

49.

Sulech0w

0.039

 

Kozuchow

0.002

22.

^wiebodzin

0.092

 

Lubsko

0.039

78.

Szczaniec

0.000

23.

Brody

0.091

 

Zbaszvnck

0.039

 

Gozdnica

0.000

 

Wschowa

0.091

52.

Cybinka

0.035

 

Brzeζnica

0.000

25.

G0rzyca

0.090

53.

Trzebiel

0.034

 

Wymiarki

0.000

26.

Lubrza

0.089

54.

Szprotawa

0.032

 

Lipinki LuZyckie

0.000

27.

Klodawa

0.087

55.

Lubiszyn

0.030

X

X

X

28.

Babimost

0.084

 

Gubin rural

0.030

X

X

X

Source — own calculations

The ranking prepared on the basis of an aggregate measure with the median was then compared with the rankings obtained on the basis of other commonly used aggregate measures. Of these, measures built on the basis of methods: rank (wɔ, zero unitarisation W), Сİеśİак with normalization against standard deviation (wɜ), Hellwig's development pattern with normalization through standardization (w4) were taken into account. To compare the rankings, the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient was used, the values of which are summarized in table 3.

Table 3. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient for the ranking obtained using the aggregate measure with median and rankings obtained by other methods

 

W1

w2

w3

w4

Aggregate measure with the median

0.851

0.765

0.793

0.837

Source — own calculations

By splitting the range of the values of aggregate measure with the median into equal-span ranges, four groups of municipalities with a similar level of tourist attractiveness were identified. The first singled out group within the measure bracket from 0.345 to 0.460 is made of the municipality of Łagów. The value obtained in its case is 0.453. Tourst-wise it is the most attractive municipality in the region. The second group includes

137

3 municipalities that have values from 0.230 to 0.345. These are the municipalities of Ośno Lubuskie, Pszczew and Lubniewice. As for regional conditions, they are characterized by significant tourist attraction. Eleven municipalities belong to the third group with measurement values from 0.115 to 0.230. This group is made up of the following municipalities: Kolsko, Bledzew, Trzciel, Przytoczna, Drezdenko, Bobrowice, Sfabice, Skąpe, Torzym, Łęknica and Sfawa. For tourists these are medium-attractive municipalities. The remaining group of 67 municipalities belongs to the fourth group. The values of measure are in their case from 0.000 to 0.115. These municipalities are not very attractive for tourists. The arithmetic mean of the aggregate measure determined is 0.074, standard deviation 0.078 and the coefficient of variation 105.8 %.

The relatively high values of Spearman's rank correlation coefficients indicate that the aggregate measure with median gives a comparable order of municipalities visfa-vis those that could be obtained by other methods considered. The resulting tourist attractiveness ranking is most similar to the ranking obtained by the rank method (w1), with the value of the coefficient reaching 0.851. It differs most from the ranking obtained by the method of zeroed unitarisation (w2). In this case, the Spearman's coefficient is 0.765. At the same time, generally, a significant correspondence holds for municipalities occupying more top-wise positions in the rankings, and any discrepancies will mainly be placed in lower positions, especially those between which there are small differences in the level of aggregate measure used.

Figure 1 shows the spatial distribution of the aggregate measure with the median.

Generally, municipalities of an average or higher level of tourist attractiveness are located in the centre and at the eastern border of the region. The first cluster is especially interesting. It comprises the municipalities of Lubniewice, Bledzew, Ośno Lubuskie, Torzym, Łagów, Skąpe and Bobrowice. It seems that in the situation of a short stay of tourists in the region, the creation of a joint complementary offer of these municipalities could contribute to the tourists' interest in extending their stay there. This could be facilitated by the construction of a cycle path network connecting these municipalities. Owing to the proximity of border crossings at Sfabice, Kostrzyn on the Oder and Łęknica the path could be a factor that would additionally stimulate tourism from Germany. Alternatively, state eastern border adjacent municipalities could also be connected by bicycle paths: Sfawa, Kolsko, Trzciel, Pszczew, Przytoczna and Drezdenko.

Conclusions

In the programme documents of Lubuskie Province, tourism is branded one of the potential pillars of the socio-economic development of the region. However, the outcome of the study shows that despite the region's assets (large afforestation, numerous lakes, nature reserves, accommodation facilities) its potential is not fully utilized. For example, the number of nights spent in the region is quite low compared to other provinces. And although the sheer number of tourists visiting it is relatively high, this does not translate into the degree of use of the existing accommodation base.

The province itself is also diversified to a large extent as regards tourist attractiveness of the municipalities. This is indicated by the value of the coefficient of variation of the aggregate measure determined by the median. In line with this measure, a relatively high level of tourist attractiveness is shown by the municipalities located in the centre of the region: Łagów, Lubniewice, Ośno Lubuskie, Bledzew, Torzym, Skąpe and Bobrowice. Other municipalities include: Pszczew, Sfewa, Kolsko, Trzciel, Przytoczna, Drezdenko, Slubice and Łęknica. In the light of the value of the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, the aggregate measure with median orders municipalities with respect to their level of their tourist attractiveness to a large extent comparable to values that could be obtained by other methods considered in the study.

 

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Year: 2020
City: Karaganda
Category: Economy