Introduction to the Multilevel Approach to Competitiveness in the Global Tourism Industry

Introduction to the Multilevel Approach to Competitiveness in the Global Tourism Industry

Sérgio Jesus Teixeira (Higher Institute of Administration and Languages, Portugal) and Joao J. Ferreira (University of Beira Interior, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0365-2.ch001

Abstract

The search for understanding the multilevel approach to competitiveness in the global tourism industry has led to a separation of approaches such as the characteristics of the general and competitive environment. The globalization, the companies' transformation, the emergence of the digital company, and the evolution of the tourism and hospitality industry represent four powerful drivers of change modifying business environments worldwide (Laudon & Laudon, 2007; Salem, 2014). In a world increasingly influenced by globalization, broad markets make it difficult for companies to cope with rapid change and increasing competition using only their skills, capabilities, and resources. As such, it is crucial to establish long-term relationships with other organizations, thus entering networks to help cope with any gaps or difficulties encountered in the markets.
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Introduction

The search for understanding the multilevel approach to competitiveness in the global tourism industry has led to a separation of approaches such as the characteristics of the general and competitive environment.

The globalization, the companies’ transformation, the emergence of the digital company, and the evolution of the tourism and hospitality industry represent four powerful drivers of change, which is modifying business environments worldwide (Laudon & Laudon, 2007; Salem, 2014).

In a world increasingly influenced by globalization, broad markets make it difficult for companies to cope with rapid change and increasing competition based only on their skills, capabilities and resources. As such, it is crucial to establish long-term relationships with other organizations, thus entering networks to cope with any gaps or difficulties encountered in the markets.

The new trends in the industry (‘fourth Industry’) introduce what has been called the smart platforms, in which cyber-physical systems monitor the physical processes of a business and make decentralized decisions. These systems include IoT and communications, either between machines or through machine-human interactions, in real-time via wireless web. Given the speed of technological change and its impacts in the business model’s change, these issues should be addressed.

In addition, it is a very interesting and appropriate sector for experiences on cyber-physical systems and platforms because of its adherence to mobile-online-personal interactions for smart tourist-destination services (Babu and Subramoniam, 2016; Bismart, 2017). More and more tourism and travel brands tend to develop ‘experience platforms’ in order to support travel experiences that enable travelers to know and share the culture, heritage and people of the local communities they visited or want to visit.

New technologies have changed so many aspects of our lives that it is hard to imagine being without them. The mobile phone, tablet, computer and other smart devices give us a sense of security and help us make good decisions in our daily lives. It is increasingly unusual to find someone who will take an initiative without first consulting one of these devices, which can be thought of as new extensions of ourselves. This is clearly seen in the field of shopping, where consumers take advantage of the wide variety of channels to obtain the maximum information possible, make the best decisions and share their experiences before, during and after buying products and services.

The production of salt has been related to human life from its beginning. Since ancient times, salt has been used for preserving food, seasoning or pharmaceutical products, and applied in the production of many daily commodities (Kurlansky, 2011). Thus, from early times salt has had utilitarian value. Salt is still one of the preferred and the most widespread methods used in the preservation of food (Bjørndal et al., 2016).

In the new century, advances in technology have brought tremendous changes to consumers, markets, and marketing. These new technologies allow connection and interaction between individuals. The tourism sector is one of the most affected by this new reality, as indicated by data from different studies on Internet users and tourism (Devis, 2010). Many companies have not yet integrated the new technologies into their processes, even when they assume they will depend on them; prefer to continue operating as usual, with a high opportunity cost compared to competitors (Correia et al., 2014).

There is a growing awareness that mature destinations efforts to assure a high level of competitiveness in the international market are increasingly dependent on its ability to achieve an outcome on the current attempts to foster the cultural heritage sector (Catrina, 2016; Garrod and Fyall, 2000; Hall and Williams, 2008).

However, the relationship between cultural heritage, tourism development and destination competitiveness remains an under-researched topic with respect to peripheral areas beyond the Mediterranean Basin (Alberti and Giusti, 2012; (Teixeira et al., 2019; Teixeira, Lopes Casteleiro, Rodrigues, & Guerra, 2018), owing to overwhelming focus on traditional touristic hotspots benefiting from centuries-old layers of archeologic, architectural, historical and cultural artefacts and traditions (Chhabra, 2010; McGrath et al, 2016).

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