Do cooperations really pay? The case of small and medium sized ski area companies

post by : Pellet Marine


Bieger, T., Beritelli, P., & Weinert, R. (2004). Do cooperations really pay? Contribution based on strategy process theory for the case of small and medium sized ski area companies. The Future of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Tourism, International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism, Publication46, 151-162.

It has many times been suggested that small and medium enterprises (SME) should try to put themselves together and work as partners in order to get over the difficulties, such as scale, scope and density. However, reaching cooperation synergies represents complicated processes, which often fail because of mismanagement or misunderstanding.In order to obtain a good cooperation the research focuses on strategic key points. The first step is to select the right cooperation partner. Once we have found the right collaborator we define together what will the cooperation area and the cooperation goals be. And last but not least comes the agreement about the cooperation management and control. This type of research can be referred to as a strategy content researchSadly this schema usually remains a basic theory. Indeed, very often cooperations don't reach the planned stage. This is due to the fact that a collaboration cannot be set up in one step. It requires coordination and control. In order to reach a good working collaboration a very long process of discussions, negotiations, agreements about intermediate goals and further dealings on achieved levels of cooperations is needed. This development is costly in terms of time, money and efforts. Surprisingly most cooperations don't emerge from deliberate planning processes but rather appear when a sudden unexpected possibility comes up. The cooperation process is a succession of events or actions with clear and concise output. A major dimension of it is the trust and social interaction. Discussions, negotiations, commitments and executions are social interactions that all lead to trust. The schema below illustrate the process that leads to trust, and then, as a result, in new projects. Here are the main success factorsCooperations have to be dynamic.Collaborations have to be constantly readapted and reinterpreted. Importance of a positive feedback-process. Cooperations are created and directed through individual workers with individual motivations and both the cooperation process and the success factors are key points to keep in mind. External pressure on the cooperations should not be feared because they can be both a helping accelerator and a barrier to success. If we manage to transform that pressure into motivational factors, the gains through cooperation can be big for both partners. This article is really interesting because it shows us basic concepts of cooperation process theory and its derived success factors at the example of SME ski stations in Switzerland. First it describes the succession of steps to arrive to a cooperation, second it gives us the keys of a good cooperation and finally gives us more information about the success factors.


Perceptions of tourism products

post by : Moser Luca

Xu, J. B. (2010). Perceptions of tourism products. Tourism Management31(5), 607-610.

Since the development of the tourism industry, many people had tried to identify the tourism products and their elements but not many research had been done on it. Smith (1994) was one of the first to split up the tourism product into five basic elements: physical plant, service, hospitality, freedom of choice and involvement. We have to imagine this elements inside two concentric circles with the physical plant placed at the core and the other elements in a series of encapsulating shells. The elements are ranked from the core to the shells, according to their importance. In (Sharma, 2007), Bill Hardman Sr. noted that a “tourism product is whatever is put into the promotion. … It could be a whole community or an individual facility, such as a park (a site) or a hotel (a property)”. For smith, both marketing and supply-side missed the essence of the tourism product and failed to generate a generic tourism product model. He propose his framework to “acknowledge the role of human experience in the tourism product, [as well as] identify which elements can be empirically measured for an estimate of the economic magnitude of the industry”. In order to understand the tourism perceptions of tourism products with the help of Smith’s framework, a study had been done with 79 students, from the school of hotel and tourism management at a Hong Kong university, which had a professional knowledge of tourism management. A list of 15 tourism products, mainly related to Hong Kong and Macao such as: Theme parks, resorts, airlines, festivals, etc.; were given to the students and after their consummation, they participated at a survey rating the importance of five elements of these tourism products. The results showed that they perceived the physical plant to be the core of tourism products, paralleling Smith’s notion. The other four elements were seen as having roughly equal levels of importance in contributing to tourism products and not only competing but complementary. To summarize, it helped to understand that a tourism product comes into existence when the five elements are correctly and successfully integrated to catch the attention of tourists and further satisfy their multiple needs. Furthermore, attention needs to be paid to the nature of particular products and the fact that the requirements of groups of customers vary.


Web 2.0 and customer involvement in new service development

post by : Aerni Jan

Sigala, M. (2012). Web 2.0 and customer involvement in new service development: A framework, cases and implications in tourism. Social media in travel, tourism and hospitality: Theory, practice and cases44.

Due to the fierce competition in the tourism sector and higher standards demanded, it is not longer sufficient to know only the wants and needs of tourists. New service development (NSD) is of upmost importance and the customer should play an active role in as much stages of the NSD process as possible, providing useful information. Involving customer in the NSD process helps the industry to better understand its customer, to better analyze the market development and to prevent the introduction of products and services, which are not needed.

Customer involvement in the NSD process enables the company to have a closer relationship to its customers, helps the brand when it comes to public relations and improves the general analysis of the market. It is also said that the ideas for products are more creative and the later acceptance of the product in the market and of the consumers is higher. On the contrary, there are also some disadvantages to be considered. Consumers are likely to focus mainly on their current needs. Consequently, it is possible that by the time a new product is introduced, the needs and wants of the customer have already changed. Furthermore it is difficult for customers to imagine what is technologically possible, which reduces the originality of the products and limits the outcome.

Web 2.0 opens new possibilities for customer involvement at any stages of the NSD process and consists mainly of customer intelligence and social networks. With this method leading users of online platforms or online communities are chosen in order to participate in the processes of idea development, screening and product and service evaluations. The advantage of integrating leading bloggers and users is that they possess a good reputation in the online community and have valuable distribution channels. Products and services can be evaluated and directly spread through online social communities, what stimulates other users to write and comment even more. On the other hand also a few risks have to be taken into account. The posts and comments can be seen or even worse manipulated by the competitors and lead to a false outcome. Furthermore the customer sample might be biased and not impartial. 



Consumer experience tourism and brand bonding

post by : Rapin Laurelia

Mitchell, M. A., & Orwig, R. A. (2002). Consumer experience tourism and brand bonding. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 11(1), 30-41.

As creating a loyal and strong bond with the customers is one of the main objectives of companies, the brands start giving the opportunity to the consumers to be able to assist the process of a product’s creation and the way that the company works. They are creating plant tours of manufactures, company museums or company visitor centers which are part of an integrated marketing communication efforts. The main goal is to reinforce the relationship between the brand and the customer and to get this one more involves into the process of production. This is the consumer experience tourism (CET) and this kind of tourism is known under few names as manufacturing tourism, industrial attractions, industrial tourism or industrial heritage tourism. And it is an excellent way for the customer to learn about the brand’s operation, production process and history and will help him/her to identify himself/herself better with the brand and feel more involve with the brand. Nowadays, tourists in United States like to go to winery’s tours (about 1.500 wineries) as well as brewery (about 1.000) because it includes a tour and a tasting part. The customers are more interesting about local products that you can find only at one place and make it a unique experience. But, despite the fact that manufacturing tourism are very popular, consumer experience tourism tours are considered as a low-cost entertainment option because most of them are free or need just a nominal fee. But that is positive for the schools and for any educational interests. Moreover, tours of factories have attracted people because the shift to an economic society has created a nostology through industrial and manufacture work and the public is looking to find this atmosphere back. The targets identified for this kind of tourism are current and potential consumers of the product. Other targets are business partners and corporate stakeholders (corporate managers, future or current employees, new sale agents, industrial suppliers) because it is a good way to establish trust between them and the company. But also the community stakeholders as community residents, shareholders, politicians, dignitaries and reporters because it is a good mean of communication. The main outcomes that the companies are looking for with this experience are the growth in buyer loyalty, more sales, a higher profitability and a bigger markets share. But also a better image in order to build a trustful relationship with local residents. Create an educational experience to present the company to the consumers and the employees, an open communication with free press and positive word-of-mouth and more stability because the revenue of the tours can help financially the company. There also are 3 important elements about the geographic location of a company tours that influence its success, they are a positive economic growth with others existing tourism offerings, a well-developed transportation systems to move visitors easily to the sites and an existing hospitality accommodations. Some companies also had the great idea to create a virtual plant tour that is broadcasted on the internet in order to reach more consumers and that can be visited from anywhere at any time.



Cultural geographies in tourism

post by : Grothe Noa

Crang, M. (2004). Cultural geographies of tourism. A companion to tourism5, 74.

Tourism is seen as a destructive force, but also as a productive and transformative process. It is a reflexive process form which all can learn from. It brings culture back to life. The encouragement of cultural activities has created cultural renewal: people want to become modern as well as stay in touch with their roots. Tourism culture takes different forms, such as the masculine endeavor: the discovery of wild Canada is associated with masculine achievement. Or else people search for natural scenery. The Niagara Falls have been associated to honeymoons. Tourism culture is also about texts written by tourists on their journey. A semiotic analysis of these materials can tell us something of how a place is being shaped, by examining who or what is depicted. Sacralization of some places depend on texts and stories that circulate elsewhere or around the site so that our sense of having visited somewhere special is premised upon other signs and texts. Markers create the sites and destinations are shaped for tourist in a special way.

Destination also have to do with practice done by tourists, like for instance the evolution of beach resort. Tourism is a set of skills and competence, and most definitely not something innate or natural. For some the aim of effects of travel is not just experience a destination but to change our “self” as part of a more or less explicit project of “self-creation”. Travel is a way to be ourselves: it can be done through a gap-year, as means to “find ourselves” and “who we are”. We bring our backgrounds and desires, but also impacts on our sense of self. Different holidays have different values according to people doing it.To conclude, Crang says that places are made, done, and performed and through making, doing and performing, the tourists become, well, tourists. In other words, places and tourists are processual. Identities are formed through process of identification and self-realization. Tourism of geography is not a set of fixed boundaries, but rather about a set of practices that constitute notions of “over there” and “over here”.




Grothe, Noa - 702_e (2015)



  • M. Crang, M. (2009). Cultural geographies of tourism. In Lew, A., Hall, C. M. & Williams, A. M. (eds.) A Companion to Tourism..(pp. 74-84). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Understanding the Factors Influencing Formation of Tourist Friendly Destination Concept

post by : Luyet Laura

Anuar, A. N. A., Ahmad, H., Jusoh, H., & Hussain, M. Y. (2012). Understanding the factors influencing formation of tourist friendly destination concept. Journal of Management and Sustainability2(1), p106.

The tourist friendly destination satisfies the tourists through utilisation and the relationship between elements of activity, space and product without any interruption and difficulties starting from the resident to the preferred of tourism destination. It has been seen as a customer-oriented concept where the tourists regarded as the customers at the tourist friendly destination. The main objective of this study is to identify at a macro level, the main factor influencing the formation of tourist friendly destination concept. Tourism destination has seen as unique via a complex combination in the tourism system includes services, resources (environment, nature, man-made, consists of sun, sea, landscape, culture and amenity), infrastructure, facilities and experience. It could be seen as a large area that comprises of various attractions combined with the services required by the tourists, or like a package of tourism facilities and services, combined with attributes to identify the effectiveness and affects to tourists in tourism destination. We can observe 5 different factors that influence the formation of tourist friendly destination. The first one is the shifting of tourism trend, which shifted to the concept of mass tourism and alternative tourism, which are customer oriented branding. It has been formed a new phenomenon in the development of hotels, infrastructure, as well as other facilities, which are used by tourists. The second one is the changes of tourists’ tastes which is a factor due to the changes of tourist’s character, attitude and lifestyle towards a tourism destination. This condition has been changed caused by the influence of elements activity, product and space at the tourism destination, which regarded as archaic, created a feeling bored and given negative perception. The third one is the increasing of travel capabilities, this factor influenced by an increasing of tourist’s personal income, an introduction of low-cost carrier, convenient transportation network to tourism destination and supported by the information technology network, which is cheaper and valuable. The fourth one is the existence of public-private partnership. Partnership agreements between public and private sectors are necessities, it is as a form of partnership to develop the tourism industry especially friendly destination. The Public-Private Partnership is required to increase the awareness through market-driven, researched basis and industry-led. And the last one is the selection of destination and tourist motivation. The importance in knowing the reason people to travel, the favourite tourism destination as well as the element affecting a selection of tourism destination is an essential before a friendly destination will be developed. The tourist friendly destination is a concept, which satisfies the tourists through utilisation and the relationship between elements of activity, space and product without any interruption and difficulties starting from the resident to the chosen of tourism destination. 


Flickr-Fotos liefern Touristik-Branche Daten über Urlauber-Ströme

post by : Truffer Annika

In der heutigen Zeit werden sozialen Netzwerke immer wichtiger, auch für den Tourismus.
Die Leute informieren sich immer mehr nur übers Internet über ihre Reiseziele.

Die Model University Vienna und die Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien haben eine Untersuchung über Social Media Daten durchgeführt und dabei herausgefunden, dass sich diese positiv auf die Tourismusbranche auswirken.



Medical tourism

post by : Morgagni Michael

Horowitz, M. D., Rosensweig, J. A., & Jones, C. A. (2007). Medical tourism: globalization of the healthcare marketplace. Medscape General Medicine9(4), 33.  

In the recent past medical tourism has emerged wherein citizens of highly developed countries travel to less developed areas of the world to receive a wide variety of medical services. A staggering number of patients travel to developing nations for healthcare. It has been estimated that the global medical tourism industry currently generates annual revenues up to $60 billion, with 20% annual growth. Many medical destinations boast modern facilities with advanced technology and appealing accommodations. Medical tourists are presently traveling to faraway countries for:

  • - Cosmetic surgery                                                                           - Dental procedures
  • - Orthopaedic surgery                                                                       - Gender reassignment procedures
  • - Cardiac surgery                                                                               - Ophthalmologic care
  • - Bariatric surgery                                                                              - Organ and cellular transplantation

Popular  medical destinations; Central and south Amercia,  India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Israel and Canada.

The global Healthcare Marketplace: There are two groups of tourist patients: The middle-income patients evading impoverishment by expensive, medically necessary operations and the other group seeking cosmetic surgery, dental reconstruction, fertility treatment, gender reassignment procedures, and other treatments not covered by health insuranceSome patients, particularly those undergoing plastic surgery, sex change procedures, and drug rehabilitation, choose to go to medical tourism destinations because they are more confident that their privacy and confidentiality will be protected. Finally, some patients have medical care abroad for the opportunity to travel to exotic locations and vacation in affordable luxurious surroundings.

The continuing evolution of medical tourism: The medical tourism industry is fuelled and driven by patients who are unsatisfied in terms of health system and want to find the same services outside their country that are affordable, timely or simply available. It is increasingly apparent that medical tourism is changing the healthcare in industrialized and developing countries around the world, and there is every reason to believe that this trend will continue to evolve.


Collaborative commerce in tourism: implications for research and industry

post by : Houle Thomas

Sigala, M. (2014). Collaborative commerce in tourism: implications for research and industry. Current Issues in Tourism, (ahead-of-print), 1-10.

Nowadays, through social media and the easy access to internet people are interacting more and more amongst them. Not only to communicate but to sell, buy, compare, share, trade, exchange their own goods or services! This connection of people making business together called collaborative commerce is becoming really trendy!,, are all examples of trade made by consumer to consumer (C2C) and with its evolution, collaborative commerce tend to become a consequent competitor for tourism industry! The exclusivity and authenticity of those experiences is something we can’t buy therefore is really difficult to compete for tourism suppliers! This kind of social commerce is remolding the transactions behaviors and the marketplace. Indeed trades and transactions are often made without the use of money but with exchange of goods or services or even virtual money such as Bitcoin. This alternative offers great social values and a sustainable aspect where instead of buying new goods and services, people share them amongst them and save money by giving of their time and knowledge which is sometimes more valuable than money! Even if this new emerging business is growing, conventional tourism still has the advantages to provide safety, quality and warranty that is sometimes not the case in collaborative commerce where we can be surprised or really disappointed somehow. Traditional tourism firms have to be innovative to compete against those people trading their own goods. It’s not possible to offer the same homely feelings but they have to imitate or create a substitute where people could do the same transactions and experiences.More researches in this new wave would be significant in order to understand more how it works and how could tourism suppliers adapt themselves or how could they compete by providing similar or better offers.


Mining customer knowledge for tourism new product development and customer relationship management.

post by : Revaz Johana

Liao, S. H., Chen, Y. J., & Deng, M. Y. (2010). Mining customer knowledge for tourism new product development and customer relationship management.Expert Systems with Applications37(6), 4212-4223.

Tourism plays an important part in the contribution to the regional & national economic development.  The objective would be to improve the behavior of the public according to their purchases patterns. It’s important to know how customers are selecting a tourism product. The key to achieve this objective is to stay close to the customer to seek a long-term relationship. The solution to that treated in this article is: data mining. But what is it exactly?

Data mining: Process of discovering customer knowledge through database. Example: patterns, association, changes. Customer knowledge + product & marketing knowledge from research helps: - Tourism supplier - Promotion - Customer relationship management.

The questions asked in this article are: What are the customer’s profiles in the tourism market or can the knowledge of customers be transformed into knowledge assets of the company? The data mining can reveal the knowledge patterns, the rules & knowledge maps to propose a solution to the case firm, which is the Phoenix Tours International, founded in 1957. Taiwan government only opened foreign tourism in 1981 and in 2001 & 2002 they were selected as “the best tourism firm in Asia”. Their main assignment is to develop new product, new destination discovery, place marketing and cooperate with the upper stream supplier in order to extend new product on the market. The tasks for the planning and operation department are, for example, investigate on the future market opportunities, analyze the market situation, cooperate with partners, evaluate if the product is profitable and finally to release the final product on the market through different channels. Theses different factors are challenging to the firm and according to the author of the article, the data mining approach could provide a more active method. The result showed that the key factor considered by the customer when traveling was the security, the agency reputation, the travel style and finally the price. They also divided the questionnaires into five clusters: remote island tour, easy tour, train/bus tour, environmental hygiene and price. The result proved that the company could design a new product by considering environmental hygiene & product with acceptable fee. Concerning the Asia area, they saw a preference for Thai, Buddha temple tour and theme park holiday. Thai travels are really a competitive product in Taiwan, but they work on a low price travel destination, so they need to work on quality and reputation to gain customer loyalty. The customer perceives the value of the firm through the service, the satisfaction. The firm needs to know how to satisfy the customer with its value proposition (the set of benefits/value it promises to deliver to the customer) in order to keep a long-term relationship. After the analysis of the questionnaires, the firm saw that they had to provide free delivery and consulting services to the middle-class customer. Also, the job and education domain are influencing customers, which wasn’t known before the clustering analysis.