Identification and Comparative Analysis of Selected Elements of Tourism Potential from a Regional Perspective
Purpose: The aim of this article is to identify the elements of tourism potential, particularly in the regional dimension, and to compare two spatial units in Poland through the prism of accommodation development. A hypothesis was formulated that accommodation is an important element of tourism potential in a region, and that its quantitative, qualitative and spatial development is an important factor in increasing tourism attractiveness. Adequately to the aim and the hypothesis, the following research questions were formulated: what elements does the tourism potential of the region consist of, and is tourism development an important component of this potential? The main aspect of the article is the identification and analysis of indicators for evaluating accommodation development in a regional perspective. Design/Methodology/Approach: The research approach used in the theoretical part of the article is based on the method of critical analysis of the literature. The considerations in the empirical part have a positive dimension, i.e. a descriptive and explanatory one (in the field of tourist development as an element of the tourist potential of selected regions in the northern Poland). Moreover, in the study of the accommodation development of selected spatial units, the analysis method was used, and in the process of formulating conclusions – the synthesis method. Findings: The theoretical and empirical research, thanks to the approach used, made it possible to identify one of the key elements of regional tourism potential, i.e. tourism development. The research was narrowed down to accommodation facilities as the basic component of this development. Practical Implications: Analysis of the status and use of accommodation in selected regions of northern Poland has shown that tourism is one of the pillars of the economy in this area. This is determined by the presence of attractive assets, transport accessibility and tourism development. The observed increase in tourist traffic and intensity of use of accommodation facilities indicates the recovery of tourism after the COVID-19 pandemic. The implications of this phenomenon should be taken into account at the microeconomic level (in development strategies of tourist enterprises), at the level of local self-government units in terms of regional and local tourism development policies, and at the macroeconomic level in terms of national tourism policy. Enterprise strategies and tourism policies should be integral components of Poland's sustainable socio-economic development. Originality/value: The article addresses the current and important issue of tourism potential on a regional basis, with particular emphasis on accommodation development. It combines theoretical and empirical research into a coherent whole, filling a diagnosed gap of a cognitive, practical and applied nature.