New Approaches for Managing Tourism Complexity: Implications and Insights

New Approaches for Managing Tourism Complexity: Implications and Insights

Valentina Ndou (University of Salento, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-867-8.ch009
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This chapter’s main objective is to provide a new conceptualization of the tourism which has major implications for management approaches, business models and strategy techniques of the sector. The objective is to try to reconcile the complexity of the environment with the managerial techniques and strategies that aim to create sustainable competitive advantage. The author will begin with a review of tourism characteristics of supply and demand side. Then they will analyze the paradigm shifts that are taking place overall in the new economy and the main challenges they bring on in the tourism context. Subsequently, they will discuss the need to realize a shift in tourism conceptualization and management in itself. The author will move their focus of analysis away from traditional, mechanical views of tourism to dynamic approaches that take into account the behavior of the overall system and help identify key leverage points of change and transformation.
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Tourism Features

Tourism is a service sector with a particularly complex product, made up of different constituent resources and which depend on an extremely fragmented supply. Like other services, tourism services are intangible, non-storable, customer-specific nature, overlapping of production and consumption, and sensitivity to relationship and reputation. In general, tourism from the supply side perspective can be seen as a whole range of individuals, businesses, organizations and places which combine in some way to deliver a travel experience (Cooper et al, 1998). Distinctive features shape the demand and supply side (Table 1). In the following sections we will rehearse these features.

Table 1.
Features shaping tourism demand and supply
Features shaping tourism
Supply featuresDemand Features
     • Modularity
     • Heterogeneity
     • Information intensive
     • Fragmentation
     • Local
     • Volatility, Ambiguity, Uncertainty
     • Experiential
     • Global

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