Tourism Specialization, Growth Stage, and Economic Growth

Tourism Economics Journal, 2022 DOI: 10.1177/13548166221111311

Posted: 19 Aug 2022

See all articles by Herman Sahni

Herman Sahni

Baldwin Wallace University

Christian Nsiah


Bichaka Fayissa

Middle Tennessee State University

Date Written: July 18, 2022


This paper investigates the nonlinear relationship between tourism and economic growth using a balanced sample of 58 countries in three continental samples (Africa, Asia, and Latin America) for the 2003–2017 period. First, we document an asymmetric threshold effect of tourism on economic growth. By utilizing an endogenous threshold regression model, we show that a single tourism threshold cutoff exists and that tourism receipts influence growth only till the threshold cutoff point in all three continental samples; however, this influence is nonexistent past the threshold point. Second, a quantile effect decomposition shows separate marginal effects for the tourism and economic growth relationship across the growth distribution. By using an unconditional quantile regression approach, we show that compared to their regional cohorts, slow- and medium-growth African countries, slow-growth Asian countries, and medium-growth Latin American countries exhibit substantially higher economic growth benefits from tourism. We explain these empirical observations and discuss their policy implications.

Keywords: Africa, Asia, Latin America, tourism, economic growth, threshold regression, quantile regression, panel data

JEL Classification: O40, O47, O55, Z30, Z32

Suggested Citation

Sahni, Herman and Nsiah, Christian and Fayissa, Bichaka, Tourism Specialization, Growth Stage, and Economic Growth (July 18, 2022). Tourism Economics Journal, 2022 DOI: 10.1177/13548166221111311, Available at SSRN:

Herman Sahni (Contact Author)

Baldwin Wallace University ( email )

Christian Nsiah

Independent ( email )

Bichaka Fayissa

Middle Tennessee State University

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