Aleksander Panasiuk, PhD., Associate Professor, University of Szczecin, Management and Services Economics Faculty, Tourism Management Department, ul. Cukrowa 8, Szczecin, Poland, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Tourism economy appears in every sphere of economy: producton of goods and services, their division, exchange and consumpton; it also occurs in the majority of the natonal economy branches that directly or indirectly deal with meetng tourist demand. The majority of economic processes in tourism sector are realized by direct tourism economy and its representatves, tourist entrepreneurs. Territorial selfgovernment units and tourist organizatons play a signifcant role in formaton of economic processes in tourism sector on the regional and local levels. The classic economy distnguishes three basic producton factors: labor, land and capital. In the modern approaches they are completed with the fourth that has different names. Beginning with technical and organizatonal progress which is a logic extension of coexistence and cooperaton of three basic factors, ending with informaton and knowledge – treated as the most modern factors of producton in the so-called new economy. In the totality of actvites of tourism economy enttes, a special role should be ascribed to the personnel, namely human potental of tourism economy enttes.


Tourism economy appears in every sphere of economy: producton of goods and services, their division, exchange and consumpton; it also occurs in the majority of the natonal economy branches that directly or indirectly deal with meetng tourist demand. In a system approach, tourism economy is defned as a system of correlatons emerging during the process of fulflling tourist’s needs, correlatons between insttutons and organizatons realizing the process (Nowakowska, 1988, pp. 169-171). This system includes all actvites aimed at meetng touristc demand, from a natural environment adaptaton to the needs of touristc movement to creatng conditons enabling tourism development.

Tourism economy is one of the elements of natonal economy structure, which penetrates other sectors and is supported by other economic sectors. The majority of economic processes in tourism sector are performed by direct tourism economy and its representatves, touristc entrepreneurs. Territorial self-government units and tourist organizatons play a signifcant role in formaton of economic processes in tourism sector on the regional and local levels.

State, understood as a set of politcal insttutons that operate in relaton with civil society, is a regulator of tourism economy processes. In that approach, the term state comprises the whole system of exercising public power, a system that mainly consists of elected politcians and enttes of public sector (state’s insttutons) (Pender and Sharpley, 2005, p. 270).

In the totality of actvites of tourism economy enttes, a special role should be ascribed to the personnel, namely human potental of tourism economy enttes. The aim of this publicaton is to present the role of personnel in development of regional tourism economy and an indicaton of the human relatonship models.

Producton factors in tourism economy

As in the whole economy, producton factors are essental for realizaton of fnal effects also in the tourism sector. Producton factors are all inputs involved in the producton of goods and services. The classic economy distnguishes three basic producton factors: labor, land and capital. In the modern approaches they are completed with the fourth one that has different names (Sullivan, 2003, p. 4), ranging from technical and organizatonal progress which is a logical extension of coexistence and cooperaton of three basic factors, to informaton and knowledge – treated as the most modern factors of producton in the so-called new economy (Filipiak and Panasiuk, 2008, pp. 127-129).

Figure 1 presents a system of producton factors in the tourism economy (Panasiuk, 2011, p. 91) Consideratons taken up in this paper refer to the relatons between two, from those presented in the fgure 1, producton factors in tourism economy:

  • labor – personnel employed in the tourist companies, employees responsible for tourism in the territorial self-government units, employees of regional tourist organizatons and other tourist organizatons and associatons operatng in region,
  • informaton, knowledge, innovatons, which are direct factors of the development of regional tourism economy.
Figure 1. Relatons in the structure of producton factors of regional tourism economy

Personnel in tourism

Human factor plays a signifcant role in services, what distnguishes this sphere of economy among the others (Riley, 1996). Number and qualifcatons of employees are basic indicators of the level of services supply. Value of work is a dominatng element of cost structure in most services, especially in enttes providing services. It should also be underlined that services usually require highly qualifed work, more complicated than most areas of material producton. Real situaton on the service market can be judged through the prism of changes in the sphere of employment (Panasiuk, 2002, pp. 82-85).

In the tourism sector, potental of labor is formed by employees of partcular enttes, especially of tourist companies (Tokarz, 2008, pp. 32-33) and territorial self-government units.

In case of companies – labor is human’s intentonal operaton consistng in changing natural goods and adjustng them to fulflling human’s needs, which is usually paid. It can be considered in a quanttatve approach as well as qualitatve one. The employment rate is used in quanttatve estmaton while educaton and seniority are taken into consideraton in qualitatve estmaton. Company should employ the right number of suitably qualifed personnel in order to operate effectvely in the market economy.

Actvites related to the operaton of direct tourism economy are mainly taken up by: companies’ owners, managers and units’ directors. This personnel creates the scope of cooperaton with other partcipants of supply side of the tourism market and they take part in tasks initated by territorial self-government and tourist organizatons. The accomplishment of exploitve tasks lies in the competences of front personnel and influences the extent in which tourists’ needs are satsfed (Panasiuk, 2008a, pp. 151-157).

Beside personnel of enttes providing tourist services, employees of territorial self-government have signifcant influence on the shape of regional tourism economy. They are responsible for the range of creaton of tourist functon. Their competences refer mainly to the municipal and city areas and regions (self-government voivodeships). Among basic competences of employees of units responsible for tourism development are: influencing creaton of local infrastructure including tourist tracks, tourist informaton, tourism promoton, events organizaton, cooperaton with other enttes (entrepreneurs and organizatons).

Affectng development of local and regional tourism economy lies within the competences of self-government authorites: commune heads, mayors, presidents and marshals and councils of all levels. Effects of their actvites are: descripton of tourism development strategy, conductng tourism policy, current decisions and direct cooperaton with representatves of other enttes, inter alia within the operaton of local and regional tourist organizatons.

Signifcant competences in the feld of regional tourism economy are also possessed by the representatves of tourist organizatons (managements) including local, regional and also tourist sector self-government. It should be assumed that the basic range of competences of tourist organizatons’ personnel is related to engaging in wide cooperaton with representatves of other insttutons and companies in local, regional, domestc and internatonal dimension. Cooperaton is concentrated on joint initatves related to the creaton of tourist products, fnancing those actvites, tourism promoton etc.

The fnal effect of tourist personnel operaton is an integrated tourist product, which is a result of joint actvites based on the agreement and seeking for joint benefts for enttes of supply side of tourism market, considering needs of tourists arriving in tourist destnatons.

Informaton, knowledge, innovatons in tourism economy

The last producton factors presented in Figure 1 is informaton/knowledge/ innovatons. In the modern economy this factor, used in economic processes, determines social and economic development (Dewan and Min, 1997). Its signifcant influence is visible especially in the long term. It is the resources of that factor not the natural resources that determine the economic positon of a partcular natonal economy.

Broadly understood informaton including aspects of knowledge and innovatons becomes a basic producton resource in economic processes. Not every item of informaton appearing in the economy is a producton factor. A producton factor is only that kind of informaton that has features of an economic resource. Informaton economic resources are all potentally useful sets of informaton, gathered and stored in tme, place and by means of technologies and by organizatons enabling their utlizaton by fnal users operatng as economic enttes in the economy. In other words, a producton factor is knowledge about how to utlize labor, land and capital in order to provide services.

In the conditons of tourist services market, informaton is utlized as:

  • knowledge, namely potental which should be properly managed,
  • basis for taking up market decisions, by means of market researches aimed at competton and consumers,
  • data base on potental of tourist areas (tourist virtues, tourism infrastructure, enttes’ tourist offer),
  • form (technology) of contact, offer presentaton and fnalizing transactons with consumers and partners by means of modern reservaton systems and the Internet,
  • subject of enttes’ operaton on tourism market, especially services in the feld of tourist informaton in a wide meaning.

Without current and reliable informaton clients would have limited possibilites of developing their tourist needs and fnding offers fulflling those needs. On the other hand, enttes offering tourist services would not be able to create tourist offers and effectvely launch them on the market.

From the point of view of tourism economy enttes, informaton is an element of an economic process thanks to which it is possible to take fast and effectve market decisions in contacts with clients and partners. It allows tourism economy, in aerial approach, to form the whole processes of tourist products creaton, their market identfcaton, image creaton and integraton of cooperaton between partcular enttes of tourism economy: entrepreneurs, self-government units, tourist organizatons. One of the most signifcant issues in that feld will be an actvity related to the research projects with partcipaton of tourism sector enttes, territorial self-government and other insttutons aiming at development of local and regional tourism economy (including scientfc units).

Informaton, thus, is entrepreneurs’ tool by means of which it is possible to take decisions about changes in the company. A pre-conditon for implementng changes is entrepreneurship. Entrepreneur creates innovatve (Drucker, 1992, p. 29) atmosphere and necessary structures gaining knowledge and capital. Change in the company becomes innovaton in a proper scale only when it is accepted by stakeholders and strengthened in the form of new standard practces, procedures and products. Innovatons in services can take the following forms (Gołembski, 2007, p. 62):

  • organizing solutons for a new problem, new problems can be formulated by clients or created by innovatve service providers who foresee demand changes. Identfcaton of problems can result from the interactons between the provider and the client,
  • more effectve way of fnding solutons to problems known type (changes in methods, processes, technical systems).

The frst type of innovaton is described as product innovaton while the second one as process innovaton.

Innovatveness in tourism economy can be expressed by (Page, 2005, p. 267):

  • Implementaton of new goods and services or improving existng ones, e.g. new forms of hotel guests servicing.
  • Implementaton of new methods of productons, e.g. low-budget hospitality.
  • Opening of new markets for tourist movement from the western countries, e.g. Eastern Europe countries,
  • New sources of products supply, e.g. local victuals.
  • Creaton of the new type of organizaton, e.g. law cost airlines.

Creaton of friendly environment for companies, especially from small and medium-sized enterprises sector (SME) lies within the competences of the insttutons of business surrounding. Supportng centers are most ofen defned as insttutons aiming at widely understood entrepreneurship support. The operaton of those units consists in (Matusiak, 2005, p. 107):

  • supportng entrepreneurship, self-employment, enabling newly created, private companies to start; promoton and improvement of SME compettveness;
  • bringing conditons for the transfer of new technological solutons to the economy and realizaton of innovatve ventures;
  • lifing the quality of human resources by educaton, training and consultng and popularizaton of positve paterns of acton;
  • utlizaton of resources and realizaton of infrastructural undertakings;
  • creaton of network of cooperaton and partnership between many enttes operatng towards the development acceleraton, increase of prosperity and wealth of inhabitants (Niedzielski, Dołowy, Milewski and Szostak, 2008).

Cooperaton between companies and enttes of business surrounding in the aspect of innovatve processes leads to the formaton of cluster structures. A cluster is a group of companies and related insttutons, lying in the geographical neighborhood, operatng in a partcular feld, linked together by similarites and mutually completng. An essental element of cooperaton within a tourist cluster is a contnuous flow of knowledge and informaton (Milewski, Panasiuk and Szostak, 2005).

A cluster is a spatal concentraton of companies, insttutons and organizatons mutually linked with expanded net of formal and informal relatons, based on joint way of development (e.g. technological, joint target markets etc.), competng and cooperatng in some aspects of operaton at the same tme. A cluster can be a tool of increasing compettveness and innovatveness of local tourism economies. It is also a kind of not wholly formalized net of economic enttes and supportng organizatons, linked together by informal exchange of knowledge and informaton (Polski klaster morski, 2004, p. 4).

From the point of view of tourism economy, an access to the natural resources or existence of specifc natural conditons in a partcular feld of regional economy, is a determining factor for clusters emergence. In case of such a cluster, its important elements are tourist values around which tourism infrastructure is created, infrastructure enabling consumpton of benefts related to the utlizaton of those values. A partcular tourist area may have many touristc enttes mainly providing tourist services (hotels, enttes from the gastronomical sector, tour operators and tourist agents, transport systems enttes, enttes managing tourist atractons), as well as around – touristc, supportng operaton of typical tourist companies (Panasiuk, 2008b).

Author’s concept models of personnel relatons in tourism economy

The structure of producton factors in tourism economy determines its operaton. Cooperatve relatons between representatves of:

  • economic enttes of direct tourism economy,
  • territorial self-government units of every level,
  • economic self-government units in tourism,
  • regional and local tourist organizatons.

are vital in that feld. Cooperaton generally refers to the following aspects of tourism economy functoning:

  • tourist product offer and creaton
  • development of tourism infrastructure, including creaton of tourist trails,
  • applying for fnancing, especially for European funds,
  • local and regional tourism promoton,
  • tourist personnel training,
  • over regional, cross- boarding, Euro-regional and internatonal aspects,
  • taking up innovatve actvites.

The basic platorm of cooperaton are local and regional tourist organizatons. It can also refer to the other form of cooperaton, e.g. by means of economic self-governments or single initatves.

Cooperaton between representatves of companies, organizatons and territorial self-government units comprises mainly actvites taken up on the highest level, namely owners and management of economic enttes, representatves of self-government authorites, directors of units responsible for creaton of tourist product, authorites of economic self-government organizatons and tourist associatons, regional authorites and local tourist organizatons.

The following model concepts of personnel relatons on local and regional level are possible:

  • model of tght cooperaton,
  • model of limited cooperaton,
  • model of disintegraton,
  • model of competton,
  • model of conflict and crisis.

The frst model – of tght cooperaton is related to the agreement between personnel of partcular companies and insttutons and to the realizaton of joint market policy. It consists in good human relatons and integraton around common goals. In that feld, realizaton of innovatve goals in tourism economy is the easiest for tourist staff. In practce, that model can be applied in regional and local tourist organizatons, where economic enttes, self government enttes and organizatons are strongly represented and implemented goals reflect interests of surrounding enttes and inhabitants as widely as possible. Moreover, their actvity is not determined by politcal goals.

The second model – of limited cooperaton is a partal version of the frst one. Its existence results from the limited representaton of enttes involved in tourism economy development, which accounts for the fact that realized tasks do not reflect all interests. This model is the most frequently applied one in the practce of operaton of regional tourist organizatons in Poland.

The next model - of disintegraton consists in the lack of agreement and forms of cooperaton between representatves of tourism sector. Actvites in the feld of tourism economy development are taken up individually by representatves of partcular enttes. That system can be observed in situaton when insttutonal forms of cooperaton haven’t been established in regions or when there are not enough enttes in regional tourist organizatons and there are not any certain results of cooperaton.

The model of competton can be observed in two situatons, namely in conditons of:

  • operatng and conductng effectve actvites by regional tourist organizatons,
  • limited scale of operaton of regional tourist organizatons or in the situaton when an organizaton has not been established yet.

In both situatons, market enttes, mainly entrepreneurs but also selfgovernments and tourist organizatons, can take up compettve actvites related to the chosen aspects of tourist product creaton or to all tasks, even compettve to the tasks of an organizaton they are part of. Examples of those actvites refer especially to the competton between tourist entrepreneurs and they aim at winning market share, and in case of self-governments at gaining funds for development. Competng for obtaining the right to implement tasks and their fnancing can be an example here.

The model of conflict and crisis could be:

  • a deepened model of competton followed by representatves of tourist enttes concentratng on their own goals and limitng market positon of other market partcipants,
  • an obvious acton of representatves of companies, self-governments and organizatons against representatves of another, it consists in fghtng for a positon in an environment and especially it refers to the atempts at eliminaton of actvites directed at implementaton of innovatons in tourism economy (actvites taken up by other companies).

It leads to the disintegraton of actvites directed at the tourism economy development untl a crisis in operaton of regional tourist organizatons and at the end to the limitaton of their functons, even to the possible break of their operaton.

Undoubtedly, the best effects can be achieved by means of the model of tght operaton. From the point of view of market effects, using the model of competton could also be benefcial and it could result in a wider offer with beter prices. The model of conflict and crisis, ofen observed in practce, beside some of its positve effects, in the scale of the whole tourist area, leads to the adverse situaton and may cause the damage of other enttes’ effects and consequently may limit the effectveness of regional tourism economy operaton and limit pro-innovatve actvites. A basic problem in that feld is linking or even identfying the tasks of regional tourist organizatons with the tasks of regional self-governments.


The above consideratons could be a basis for an atempt to describe which model of personnel relatons occurs in a regional tourism economy and how the partcular model influences innovatve processes which are the basis for the development of regional tourism economy. As it results from the above consideratons, pro-innovatve policy can stmulate full cooperaton among the regional tourism economy. A basis for actvity is an innovatve consciousness, thanks to which it is possible to form compettveness toward other tourism economies, especially neighboring ones. Knowledge and access to the fnance as well as personnel should be ranked as a basic conditon for implementaton of innovatve actvites on the regional tourism economy level. From the insttutonal point of view, pro-innovatve actvites in regional tourism economy should be led by tourist companies on the micro level and by regional self-government and regional tourist organizatons on the macro level. Tourist clusters could be seen as a parallel form to the operaton of regional tourist organizatons.


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