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Cultural Tourism Routes as Incubators for Innovation and Economic Diversification: A Potential Analysis in the Framework of the New Silk Road Initiative in Azerbaijan

  • Arne Schuhbert EMAIL logo , Hannes Thees , Valentin Herbold , Johanna Weinreiter and Markus Kantsperger


Cultural routes are today a widespread phenomenon throughout the Industrialized Countries (IC) and have become more and more prominent as a tool for tourism development in recent years (Flognfeldt, 2005:37; Meyer, 2004:5). For countries in the Southern Caucasus, who profit from their bridging position between Europe and Asia, the planned revival of the Ancient Silk Road (ASR) in form of the New Silk Road (NSR) offers substantial potentials for economic diversification by means of tourism as a catalyzing industry. On the case of Azerbaijan, this study analyzes the potential to trigger regional economic diversification within the existing national destination-system in a framework of route development. To this end, the methodological approach builds upon a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to diagnose the current degree of cluster maturity in the system, following the question of how Azerbaijan as a system of regional destination can access the transnational route system of the NSR.


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Received: 2019-09-29
Accepted: 2020-04-02
Published Online: 2020-04-22
Published in Print: 2020-11-25

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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