Different approaches to the analysis of tourism destinations as the basic units of research in tourism, are reviewed in this paper. Traditional geographical and economic perspectives are presented as the bases for more modern system and networking approaches. Network analysis is discussed as the most useful current approach to understand cooperation and coopetition processes taking place in destinations. This approach, developed in general management theory, however, if implicated directly in tourism, is not free from major problems and may lead to misleading conclusions. Among such problems, spatial embeddedness and the non-voluntary character of membership in a network, the crucial role of free goods in product creation, the predominance of SMEs in a destination network, differences between particular destinations and the difficulty in setting clear borders between networks, are discussed.
The paper deals with the idea of destination competitiveness and its relations with competitiveness of spatial tourism products and competitiveness of entities catering tourism in the region. The case study method is used in the paper and the example of Industrial Monuments Route of the Silesian Province is analysed. The Route is a tourist product which presents the major and most interesting industrial facilities in the Silesian Region in terms of tourist, historic and architectonic values. The creation of the new spatial product - the Route by the regional authority - enhanced competitiveness of the Province as the image was improved, as well as a competitive advantage of operators of attractions within the Route was built. Some difficulties and challenges of such a way of enhancing destination competitiveness are discussed in the text.
The delimitation of landscape units can be helpful in the preparation of studies related to landscape protection and landscaping. The aim of this article is to propose the modification of the method of local landscape delimitation developed for the landscape audit for the needs of protected areas. The comparison of two methods of delimitation indicates that the same area can be assigned to different landscape types and subtypes. The proposed modification of the method of landscape unit delimitation allows a more detailed reflection of the landscape and its links to the administrative boundaries of administrative communities.
Hiking, downhill skiing and snowboarding are among the most popular forms of active tourism in mountainous areas. Their popularity and their mass scale do not only result from the presence of the appropriate landscape, but also from its appropriate development. The objective of the article is to attempt to assess the attractiveness of selected Central European countries in terms of winter sports and mountain hiking, to consider the opinions of students who live in Visegrad Group countries, as well as to evaluate the barriers to development of their competitive offers. According to respondents, the most attractive countries for winter sports are Austria and Slovakia, and the least attractive are Hungary, Romania and Lithuania. In turn, according to the students, the best conditions for mountain hiking are in Slovakia, Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland. In addition, respondents from particular countries assessed domestic offers highly.