Developing Evaluation Criteria for Partner Selection in Tourism Supply Chain Networks

Developing Evaluation Criteria for Partner Selection in Tourism Supply Chain Networks

Narongsak Pongsathornwiwat (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Nomi, Japan), Van-Nam Huynh (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Nomi, Japan) and Chawalit Jeenanunta (Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology, Thammasat University, Thailand)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJKSS.2017010103
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Effective partnership management is a crucial strategy for tourism firms in designing the services successfully as well as gaining the advantages dynamically. Literature suggests that the successful partnerships may be initiated at the beginning of selection process; however, there is a dearth of research on how to manage tourism partnerships effectively. This paper suggests the evaluation criteria proposed to assist tourism firms to effectively make a decision on selecting partners to start working with. In developing criteria, the authors first reviewed the available criteria in the other contexts, then conducted qualitative research using buyer and supplier firms in Thailand by in-depth interviewing with ten experts to refine and to verify these criteria proposed. After statistical verification, the results indicated that the proposed criteria consist of five main categories: performances, profiles, risk factors, product's characteristics and compatibilities. This study contributes the useful knowledge on how to select partners and manage partnerships effectively in tourism supply chain.
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Currently, the service industry has influenced to the world economy (Baidai, 2004). Evidence has shown that a dramatic recent trend in the global economy has been changing from traditional productions to the service sector (Page, 2012). The impact of the service industry is significantly improved not only the global economy (Veronneau and Roy, 2009) but the economy in South-East Asia, especially in Thailand (Piboonrungroj & Disney, 2009). The service sector in Thailand contributes the most to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Thailand comparing to other areas. As of structure of Thailand's GDP, the service sector contributes with 49.9% of Thailand’ GDP (World Bank, 2014). Regarding the service industry, tourism industry plays a crucial role that can efficiently generate the overall incomes. That is because Thailand has a lot of invaluable attractions; for example, the historical resources, and the ancient tradition and cultures. Based on these historical natural resources, the major inbound markets of international tourists traveling to Thailand has been rising to almost 15 million visitors a year (World Bank, 2014).

The main characteristic of tourism business transactions is a process of delivering services regarding a combination of travel products such as package tours (Zhang et al., 2009; Lee et al., 2013). These products, which can be purchased individually, are put together by a tour operator who uses the advantage of economic of scale to offer the mixed product for a lower price than be purchased separately (Yamamoto & Gill, 1999). The popularity of tourism package arises for several reasons. First, a convenience for tourists. Second, the guarantee of security and safety. Third, tourists can easily view the targeting of destinations where a majority of tourist are often going (Lee et al., 2013; Yamamoto & Gill, 1999). Fourth, an affordable price of packages products (Rewtrakunphaiboon & Oppewal, 2008). Last, the most significant advantage is a time-saving process (Lee et al., 2013).

Although package tours have several advantages, the current market of tour operators still have some issues to face the fact due to a dynamic and complex personal preference of tourist (Taylor, 1996). A traditional tour package cannot deal with such situation effectively because a regular package tour is rigid, standardized and less flexible for tourists' personal interests (Poon, 1993). This disadvantage mentioned is becoming more and more apparent as the society is developing (Lee et al., 2013). Evans and Stabler (1995) suggests that if package tour is less flexible and customized, tour operators are not able to maintain their popularity in the future.

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