How Can Marketing Intelligence Support Tourism Companies to Increase Their Competitiveness?

How Can Marketing Intelligence Support Tourism Companies to Increase Their Competitiveness?

Ronnie Figueiredo (Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality, Universidade Europeia, Spain) and Marcela S. Castro (School of Business and Social Sciences, Universidade Europeia, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0365-2.ch016

Abstract

In a constant evolution of the global economic sector over the past 50 years, conditions to create more job opportunities and offer business services have remained timeless in many respects but subject to significant change as well. Tourism as an international industry and as the biggest provider of jobs on the planet boasts a greater array of heterogeneous stakeholders than many other industries. It is necessary to utilize all available information resources to make decisions, especially in the age of agglomerate economies. And further attention should be given towards understanding how marketing intelligence can support tourism companies to increase their competitiveness. This chapter was developed in two phases: (1) identification and (2) analysis. A literature review was made through the electronic database Scopus.
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Tourism Approaches

Since the launch of commercial internet applications in the early 1990s, many researchers have noted the potential of the World Wide Web, especially in business. The internet is immensely important for business in any economic sector. In the 20th century, globalization of capitalism, movement of populations, and advances in transportation and communication technology have helped to develop tourism into one of the world’s largest industries (Choi & Sirakaya, 2006).

According to Law, Qi, and Buhalis (2010), the internet is responsible for the rapid development of information, changing the approach in the tourism industry and serving as an effective marketing tool in support of future implications about present decisions. In Ye et al. (2011) study, we can observe an example of some decisions’ impacts, while tourism has brought in economic benefits, it has significantly contributed to environmental degradation, negative social and cultural impacts, and habitat fragmentation. Sheppard et al. (2010) confirm in their research that major impacts come from numerous industrial, infrastructure-based, residential, and tourism development activities, uniting synergistically in some cases to further deteriorate habitats.

Consequentially, Choi and Sirakaya (2006) demonstrated that decision makers became increasingly aware of the drawbacks of mass tourism, so they searched for alternate tourism planning, management, and development options. The highly competitive environment of the industry has forced tourism firms to probe for ways to enhance their competitive advantage and create alternatives to be more competitive (X. Zhang, Song, & Huang, 2009). Another alternative to prevalent tourism is possible to note in Orams (1995) findings. He identifies ecotourism as a probably an equally significant alternative to conventional tourism due to the widespread and growing interest in the natural environment and a corresponding recognition of the importance of conserving natural environmental quality. The positive images associated with the term 'eco', for example, in ecology, ecosystem, ecosphere and eco-sensitive have combined to create a name that expresses a concept which has become popular as tourism destinations. Urban tourism is more of a one destination alternative as observed by Ashworth and Page (2011) when they demonstrated that to begin to understand tourism in the city we must embrace urban studies and their theoretical critiques.

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