Productivity Measurement: The Case of Nature Tourism Firms in Portugal
Productivity measurement in the tourism sector has been raising increasing interest among researchers and is recognised as an important indicator for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the sector and for enhancing its spillover effects on the economy. However, studies for Portugal and the particular activities included in the set of nature tourism activities are scarce. To overcome this research gap, this paper calculates the labour productivity and total factor productivity (TFP) measures of nature tourism firms to compare firms’ productivity performance across NUTS II regions in mainland Portugal during 2014–2017. Using data from SABI, Quadros do Pessoal, INE and the National Tourism Registry, the sample consists of 369 firms, representing 55% of firms operating in nature tourism in the mainland. Results show that the levels of TFP, unlike to labour productivity, are uneven over time and space. In 2015, a year of change in the business cycle, all regions experienced a negative increase in TFP except the Metropolitan Region of Lisbon, which seems to indicate that nature tourism in most of the country is less resilient to external economic shocks, performing better in periods of prosperity. Labour productivity growth does not present, in general, consistently positive results.