Online booking for travel and accommodation influenced by economic and digital development level: Position of the Western Balkan countries within Europe

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The expansion of the Internet has radically changed the way in which citizens travel, book and organise travel arrangements. Since innovation and new information technologies have become crucial determinants to encourage competitiveness in the tourism sector in Europe, this article investigates how selected development indicators influence the Percentage of individuals that use Internet for travel and accommodation services. Eurostat data for 34 European, European Union (EU-28) and selected EU candidates, countries for 2017 were analysed. It has been presented that (1) Gross Domestic Product per capita in Purchasing Power Standards; (2) Percentage of population aged 15 to 64, by tertiary education; as well as (3) Percentage of individuals aged 16 to 74, who have basic or above basic overall digital skills, all correlate positively and strongly with the main variable under study. The conducted regression analysis has shown that variable digital skills has the greatest impact on the main variable under the study. The K-mean clustering of countries resulted with four clusters. The Western Balkan countries can be found in a cluster which has in average the lowest values of all four variables in compare to the averages of other three clusters.

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