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Analysing tourism stakeholders networks

Angelo Presenza and Maria Cipollina

Angelo Presenza is an Assistant Professor at the University ‘‘G. D’Annunzio’’ of Chieti-Pescara, Pescara, Italy. Maria Cipollina is an Assistant Professor at the Tourism Research Centre, University of Molise, Termoli, Italy.

Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze the variety of relations existing in tourism networks, identified as complex and mutable entities, where a vast range of stakeholders coexist. Design/methodology/approach – After a deep review on stakeholder theory, the research applies techniques of network analysis to a case study. Specifically, the analysis focuses on 354 hospitality firms acting in Molise Region (Italy). Each operator was asked to judge the importance to collaborate with other stakeholders to enhance the effectiveness of their management and marketing activities. The answers highlight the degree of preference among stakeholders and the resulting information is the level of confidence in the network. Findings – Results confirm the importance of intensifying relationships between tourism companies themselves and between them and policy makers. It appears that public stakeholders are more important for both management and marketing activities than private sector, since they place a much higher position in the scale of preference. Research limitations/implications – The paper provides a starting-point for further research about non-quantitative destination performance measurement, such as trust and commitment between the stakeholders in tourism destination, and the use of network analysis’ techniques. Practical implications – Destination managers and policy-makers may use techniques of network analysis to elaborate useful information for planning and managing the relationships inside the tourism network. Originality/value – The paper offers a novel approach for developing network analysis in tourism network literature. It explores non-quantitative destination performance measurements and uses management and marketing activities to analyze relationships between public and private stakeholders. Keywords Tourism management, Tourism, Partnership, Stakeholder analysis Paper type Case study

1. Introduction
In the last decade, changing structures of government and a growing realization of the role of governance has led to interest in social relations between government, business and civil society. Explaining relations between organizations does not derive only from scientific interest, but also from the practical and normative requirement in which the goal is to highlight the structural features and the techniques for managing these modern organizational relationships. In the tourism literature, an increasing interest in networks is divisible into two main streams of application. First, networks are understood as a useful framework for analyzing the evolution of business, product development, packaging and opportunities for further development (Tinsley and Lynch, 2001). Second, networks are seen as an important conduit for managing public-private relationships and understanding structures of tourism governance (Palmer, 1996; Tyler and Dinan, 2001; Pforr, 2002). These two streams necessarily overlap. Innovative, catalytic producer networks require planning and regulatory

DOI 10.1108/16605371011093845

VOL. 65 NO. 4 2010, pp. 17-30, Q Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 1660-5373

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TOURISM REVIEW

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As a result. 2. section 4 describes the used methodology. such dense ties encourage conformity. 2005.. The structure of the paper is as follow: section 2 briefly summarizes the existing literature and specifies more in details the aim of our analysis. facilitating importation of new information into the region and introducing innovation (Scott et al. If collaboration among operators is an effective tool in tourism innovation. networks are characterized by a range of participants that surpass organizational boundaries and structures (Howlett and Ramesh. few studies examine the tourism destination from the network point of view applying a NA approach (Shih. 2009). quite possibly.. In this context. while distinguishing between private and public sector actors. Rhodes. section 3 defines the NA approach. Network theory seeks to improve the understanding of formal and informal organizational structures that span public and private sectors and shape collective actions (Dredge. identified as complex and mutable entities that develop and evolve over time in response to environmental and organizational developments and demands (March and Wilkinson. p. which in turn results in deeper experiences and customer satisfaction? (Lemmetyinen and Go. gives rise to opportunities for the transfer and sharing knowledge. which is an important driver for increasing innovation and competitiveness. Analysis of the value-creating network-development process may identify the critical success factors that enable members of a tourism business network in order to perform optimally. 2008). acceptable action.] why and how are the actors motivated to cooperate in the network? What is the value the network actors perceive they obtain from (potential) inter-organizational relationships? How does the cooperation among stakeholders contribute to encourage the staged authenticity. The existence of relations between two actors implies that the behaviour of one conditions the behaviour of the other.environments that are flexible and capable of timely response (Dredge. This ‘‘connectedness’’. skills and resources required to develop. the sharing of worldviews (Burstein. . various studies focus on the importance of interorganizational networks in destinations and the effects of collaboration among organizations. Sheehan and Ritchie. 2006). 2009. know and think. According to Pavlovich (2003). 1997. While there is a growing recent literature focusing on the importance of the relationships between tourists and service organizations and tourism business (Sautter and Leisen. Scott et al. Scott et al. 25). In tourism networks. 34). 2006. the main aim of this research is to apply state of art network analysis (NA) to study the links between tourism destination stakeholders. p. In essence. 2008). various issues are raised: [. as a result. 2006. 2008). 1999. They involve commitment by network members to a set of common goals and. 2008). Networks also enable and constrain what we can do with our knowledge and ideas: ‘‘they are the means by which the knowledge. a variety of relations can be identified. they allow and restrict what individual actors can and do. 2006). finally. in turn. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the way the relations and networks connecting the actors involved in a tourist destination affect its behaviour and performance. 2008. 1995. March and Wilkinson. exploit and commercialize new ideas are marshaled and coordinated’’ (Wilkinson. 1991). Accordingly. and so they encourage destination cohesion. . NA is becoming a standard diagnostic and prescriptive tool for management to analyze organizational interaction (Scott et al. 4 2010 j j . 65 NO. Knowledge and ideas diffuse through business systems via the relations and networks connecting economic actors and. section 6 concludes. PAGE 18 TOURISM REVIEW VOL.. Dredge. section 5 shows and discusses the results.. then we would also need to consider how it can benefit the destination level of organization. Applying stakeholder theory to tourism networks analysis Recently. and inclusion. Using an NA approach this paper assesses the variety of relations existing in tourism stakeholders and the importance of their management and marketing activities. 2009). Sparse ties among groups on the other hand can exclude stakeholders and act as bridges to those players who are external to the destination.

it may avoid the costs of solving conflicts among stakeholders. it may legitimate collective actions if stakeholders are involved in the decision-making processes which affect their activities. From a managerial perspective. 2009). In order to assess the importance of interorganizational networks in tourism destinations and the effects of collaboration among stakeholders. p. In particular. This is even more evident when the field of interest is tourist destination where the experience and satisfaction of tourists and to the general economic success of the region is directly related to many types of firms and other organizations. the willingness to collaborate may enhance the coordination of policies and related activities. Dredge (2006) investigates relationships between local government and industry in order to critically discuss the role of networks in fostering or inhibiting public-private sector partnership building. thereby actively creating and sustaining competitiveness (Lemmetyinen and Go.. our NA is based on information by a survey administered to 200 accommodation facilities. particularly in the planning and marketing areas. p. official. or contractual ties to the organization. Cooperation. The importance of relationships with these organizations supports the need for a new stakeholder approach to strategic management (Sheehan and Ritchie. Some of these are located in the tourist destination. and 3.An individual firm’s performance depends on the behaviour of others that it is directly and indirectly connected to. development and access to other companies elsewhere in the surrounding network (Ford et al. in terms of their sales. Freeman (1984) argues that external groups to the organization have an increasing ability to affect the organization itself. 2004). including other tourist destinations. may be a suitable means for managing turbulent planning domains at the local as well as the regional. the stakeholder theory posits that the various groups might have a direct influence on managerial decision-making. How important is the relationship with local stakeholders for your marketing activities? VOL. 46). as a dynamic process-oriented strategy. while to be responsive (and effective in the long run) you must deal with those groups that you can affect’’. Even if critical resources are often physical. 2. it is knowledge-intensive intangibles such as effective organization and leveraging of relationships that add significant value to firms. 2005). in Molise (a Southern Italian Region) in the period March-July 2008. 1984. Bramwell and Sharman (1999) identify three potential benefits deriving from consensus-based collaboration: 1. affords small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMTEs) the opportunity to mitigate their size disadvantage (Bieger. 2003). the interdependence between the actors. 4 2010 TOURISM REVIEW PAGE 19 j j . who defined a stakeholder as ‘‘any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organization’s objectives’’ (Freeman. as well as to other types of inputs required by a tourist destination to function effectively and efficiently. others are located elsewhere but play an important role in linking destinations to sources of tourists. their stakeholders are pressured to adapt collaboration principles to everyday practice. As the tourism system context becomes increasingly fragmented and volatile. As most succinctly stated by Freeman (1984. not just on their individual characteristics (March and Wilkinson. information. they are able to address scale and scope issues. From this definition emerges a view of stakeholders that is very broad indeed and goes beyond those that have merely formal. In particular we focus on two questions: 1. Furthermore. 2009). 65 NO. 2009). The performance of a tourist destination depends on the links between these various component actors. This argument is emphasized by ‘‘stakeholder theory’’ pioneered by Freeman (1984). supplies. 46) ‘‘to be an effective strategist you must deal with those groups that can affect you. hereafter hospitality firms. How important is the relationship with local stakeholders for your management activities? 2. Contributions related to tourism destination planning stress the need for involving public and private actors to gather consensus and to make firms’ and institutions’ strategies converge towards the same goals (Pforr. national and international level (Lemmetyinen and Go. 2006).

. expressed as a proportion of the maximum possible number of lines. degree centrality can distinguish between the in-degree (Cdi) and the out-degree (Cdo) of each node. 2006). a social network is a group of collaborating entities (i. while the out-degree centrality is the number of arcs starting from each node. . In this way. In a general form. and the outdegree is the number of arcs it sends. It is defined by the quotient g¼l/l max. Positive weights W. 2008). . we also get a complete paint of the relationships on the network. vertices can be grouped according to their degree and the degree distribution of a network is the frequency distribution of vertices with degree d¼0. Network-analysis approach: definition and tools NA is a new approach used to describe the structure of links between given entities (namely nodes). actors) that are related to one another. n} and a set of lines L¼{1. . It consists of a collection of graphs developed to analyze networks in social sciences.Since the collaboration in both activities. management and marketing. This may be positive or negative. . Mathematically. . political science. . . 1996). . It provides a means of visualizing and simplifying complex sets of relationships. range of influence. n. One of the main applications of NA is the identification of the ‘‘important’’ nodes in their network (Wasserman and Faust. L). 1994). Since a vertex can be both a sender and a receiver. information can be contained in a vertex value function P: N ¼ ðV . a NA consists of a graph G¼(V. a complete network is a network with maximum density (De Benedictis and Tajoli. . . among stakeholders is very important for the tourist destination. 4 2010 j j . the indegree of a vertex is the number of arcs it receives. The in-degree centrality is the number of arcs ending at each node. and is used to acquire the positional features of individual nodes within networks (Shih. Accordingly. The standardized degree centrality (Cd) of a vertex is its degree divided by the maximum possible degree: Cd ¼ d=ðn 2 1Þ ð2Þ In directed networks. and applies quantitative procedures to calculate various indicators for assessment of features of a whole network and the position of individuals in the network structure. are associated with each line and. indicated with a plus or minus sign. also. such as density and centralization. calculated to summarize characteristics of the actors and the network itself (Shih. n21. L. which is a property of the whole network (Haythornthwaite. It indicates the presence of strong socializing relationships among members and. economics. Relationships can be reciprocal or directed. in which case an arrow is used to indicate the direction. .. communication studies. indicating the strength of the relation. therefore it is useful in promoting effective collaboration within a group (Baggio and Cooper.e. .1. . indicate the extent to which all members of a population interact with all others. where l max is the number of lines in a complete network with the same number of vertices. the likelihood of their having access to the same information or resources. 2000). 2009). PAGE 20 TOURISM REVIEW VOL. In simple words NA provides a rich and systematic means of assessing such networks by mapping and analyzing relationships among nodes. The density of a network is the number of lines in a simple network. in addition. The idea of the centrality of individuals in their network is one of the earliest to be pursued by network analysts (Scott. The overall distribution of ties and their local concentration are important parameters and indicators of cohesion. According to Burt (1992). equivalence (role-groups). power of actors. and brokerage. and the number of lines. 65 NO. computer networks and measures such as cohesion. l} between pairs of vertices. 3. In a network. this is a graph in which each participant in the network is called actor and depicted as a node in the network. . this analysis does not focus on only one question but uses all detailed information available and is run separately on the two activities. l. W . Measures of cohesion. with a set of vertices V¼{1. P Þ ð1Þ The size of the network is expressed by the number of vertices. Network analysis delivers a number of useful outcomes. The most important or prominent nodes generally occupy strategic locations within a network. . The degree is a measure of the ‘‘activity’’ of the node.. 2006). in order to test the robustness of results.

Another measure of node centrality is the closeness (Cc) that is based on distance. Such definition reflects the idea that a node is central if it can quickly interact with all other nodes. 1994). The basic idea is to analyze nodes and their relative position in the network. j )th cell if there is a direct link from i to j. Research Institute. Based on the graph. Each tourism destination stakeholder is treated as node and the attitude for the collaboration between hospitality firms are treated as a series of links. 4 2010 TOURISM REVIEW PAGE 21 j j . the asymmetric matrix of this firm can be built. respectively. Tour operator and Travel agency) is more important in exercising your management activity? The graph shows that hospitality firm first prefers to be in touch with travel agencies and then with City Government. nj Þdenotes the distance between a node and the others. the betweenness centrality (Cb) measures the extent to which a particular node lies between the various other nodes in the set of nodes (Scott. Finally. represented by the arrow. 1999). 2000). Also closeness can be distinguished in in-closeness and out-closeness. It is the invert sum of the shortest distances between each node and every other node: X Cc ¼ 1=ð j distðni . 65 NO. The link. The measure focuses on how close a node is to all the other nodes in the set of nodes (Wasserman and Faust. Various techniques can be used to display the graphical data. Research Institutes. Figure 1. based on inward and outward connections. where the rows (i ) and columns ( j ) index stakeholders in the graph. In the matrix. but also go through Vi. The resultant diagram is then interpreted visually. Summing up the matrix of every hospitality firm. nj ÞÞ ð3Þ where distðni . It reflects how often an node lies on the geodesics between the other nodes of the network: Cb ¼ X j–k g ijk g jk ð4Þ where gjk is the total number of shortest paths joining any two vertices Vk and Vj. for example. and g ijk is the number of those paths that not only connect Vk and Vj. we assign ‘‘1’’ in the (i. Figure 1 A simple graph and matrix VOL. ranging from the use of hand-drawn relational maps to diagrams derived using sophisticated statistical techniques. shows the simple case where a hospitality firm answers the question: which stakeholder (among Regional Government. Regional Government and Tour operator in sequence. moves from the least to the most preferred stakeholder. City Government. we employ these techniques to analyze the structural characteristics of the links between tourism destination stakeholders. and a 0 in the cell otherwise. we obtain our valued matrix for measuring the indicators and drawing the graphs of NA. In this study. We construct a matrix representing sociometric choices which describe the presence or absence of a given type of relation (Degenne and Forse.

The web site was on online for around five months. cluster analysis. Finally. factor analysis. such as multidimensional scaling. The questionnaires were administered through several methods – a web site dedicated to this research project was created from where respondents were able to download the questionnaire. this survey also aimed to identify the number and the typologies of the accommodation businesses. In the regional register of tourism firms administered by the regional Department of Tourism. The program contains dozens of NA indexes (e. 2008). 354 tourism firms were registered.). Data was collected through questionnaire designed for self-completion. Apart from collecting information necessary for drawing the tourism stakeholder network. positional analysis algorithms. etc. These firms are not equally dispersed through the province.. In the past few years Molise has realized considerable growth in the tourism sector as compared to other southern regions. in some cases it was sent by fax or even posted in the cases where accommodation firms did not have Internet or fax connection. consisting mostly of hotels. etc. For this study was used UCINET 6. Abruzzo. Italy PAGE 22 TOURISM REVIEW VOL. 4 2010 j j . and to assess the quality of the tourism system in Molise.g. centrality measures. During this period a group of 4 researchers of the Tourism Research Centre administrated the data collection with the aim to achieve at least 50 percent response rate per category of accommodation facilities and geographical areas. dyadic cohesion measures. ranking after Basilicata and Calabria (Istat. Campania and Puglia. agro-tourism and guest houses (Table I). one of the most popular and comprehensive program for the analysis of social networks and other proximity data. Molise registered an average rate of growth in arrivals that is quite above the average of other Italian regions. correspondence analysis. The region is located in Southern Italy and it is the smallest and youngest region of Italy. even tough the Cost has the highest density (only four municipalities versus 84 in Provence of Campobasso and 52 in Provence of Isernia). 4. 2002). bordering with Lazio. multiple regression. clique finders.5 percent. plus general statistical and multivariate analysis tools. bed and breakfast. with an acceptable response rate of 56. Table I Distribution of hospitality firms in Molise Categories Hotel Residence Agri-tourism Bed and Breakfast Camping Holiday house hostel Guest house Rural Tourism Village Total Geographical area Province of Campobasso Province of Isernia 43 0 39 34 0 16 0 32 11 2 177 22 1 13 25 2 4 1 16 8 0 92 Coast 25 8 10 12 12 6 0 10 0 2 85 Total 90 9 62 71 14 26 1 58 19 4 354 Source: Author’s calculations based on data provided by Tourism Research Center (2008) – University of Molise. in few cases. With respect to Italy as a whole and allowing for the last five-year period. 65 NO. the 200 useful responses were obtaining. Methodology Data required to apply the NA was derived from a comprehensive survey of hospitality firms conducted by the Tourism Research Centre of the University of Molise in the period February-September 2008 in the Molise region of Italy.It is possible to find several computer software packages that map relational data. it was delivered personally. At the end of five months. as Provence of Campobasso has more firms than the others.03 (Borgatti et al.

Looking at network indicators relative to management activity (Table IV). Hospitality firms seem to prefer to collaborate with the tourism bureau (or DMO) in exercising their management activity. travel agencies and local tourism association seem to hold the medium position in the range of preference. Exceptions are bed and breakfast. Relative to marketing activities. the comparison between the in-degree and out-degree of each node reveals that the most important stakeholder is the tourism bureau. consistent with the evidence in Figure 2. Regional government. However. the more central stakeholders are travel agencies and provincial governments. 65 NO. How important is the relationship with local stakeholders for your marketing activities? The firms answered to each questions assigning a mark from a minimum of ‘‘1’’ to a maximum of ‘‘10’’ for each stakeholder according to propensity to collaborate with them in exercising their activities. most respondents provided ratings of over 6 (out of 10) indicating a high propensity to collaborate with other tourism destination stakeholders. respectively. guest houses are the least interested in research institutes. given their relatively low ratings regarding all stakeholders. camping and residence firms which prefer local or regional governments. Rural tourism firms prefer to collaborate mostly with travel agencies. The betweenness centrality indicator confirms the middle position already identified by the VOL.The questionnaire consisted of several sections collecting information on firms’ characteristics (size. most hospitality firms want to collaborate more with the tourism bureau for their marketing activities. quality. Comparing Table III to Table II. travel agencies and local tourism associations. regional governments. etc) and target market. 4 2010 TOURISM REVIEW PAGE 23 j j . A visual assessment of a global network can be captured based on the graph approach. Consistent with the results in Table II. the average ratings are much lower. they appear not to have the ability or desire to collaborate in general. At first glance. We use Tables II and III for constructing our network matrix. Tourism services agencies are less preferred by the hotel. All others place an intermediate position in the preference scale of hospitality firms. Conversely. 5. residences are likely to collaborate with all stakeholders in their marketing activities. while hotels prefer to cooperate with city government and holiday houses favour travel agencies (in italics in Table II). where nodes represent the tourism destination’s stakeholders and arcs directed between pairs of nodes represent the importance that hospitality firms assign to relationships for management and marketing activities. Assessing the indicators of in-closeness and out-closeness centralities reveals the extent to which a particular stakeholder is closer from and to others. while tour operators are less preferred by agri-tourism and bed and breakfast firms. A higher in-degree centrality implies that a stakeholder is the most important node. whereas the least important are research institutes and tour operators. How important is the relationship with local stakeholders for your management activities? 2. respectively. the management activity stakeholders with central position are national travel associations. A higher out-degree centrality indicates a stakeholder is the least preferred in the business activity. On the other hand. Results and discussion In general. The part dealing with the stakeholders network consisted of 200 hospitality firms required to answer to the following two questions: 1. The indicators of degree centrality show the level of preference that firms assign to each stakeholder. camping and residence firms. indicating that the hospitality firms are less liable to cooperate with stakeholders regarding marketing activities than management activities. origin. The indicators of NA for the two questions are shown in Tables IV and V. Figures 2 and 3 show the network graph of the Molise Region. The answers highlight the degree of preference to collaboration among stakeholders and the resulting information is the level of confidence in the network.

91 j Table II Propensity to collaborate in management activity (sample mean) Regional government Guest house Hotel Agri-tourism firms Bed breakfast Camping Holiday house Residence Rural tourism firms .42 6.81 7.92 8.30 5.52 7.64 7.69 7.00 5.45 8.76 6.67 7.27 Research institutes 6.14 7.52 6.00 8. 65 NO.32 8.58 4.92 8.27 7.09 8.67 8.60 4.24 7.38 6.58 8.82 7.25 7.50 8.31 7.13 6.00 6.83 9.25 7.67 8.64 4.33 7.31 6.33 8.94 6.00 6.67 7.28 6.94 6.92 8.33 7.00 6.92 9.00 5.50 7.17 8.17 8.08 9.53 5.83 7. 4 2010 j Provincial government 7.63 6.05 6.44 6.PAGE 24 TOURISM REVIEW VOL.93 6.67 8.00 8.09 6.27 Travel agency 7.88 6.17 7.63 6.33 8.25 7.00 Other operators 8.57 7.64 7.88 6.85 5.61 8.33 7.00 6.62 6.17 6.50 6.36 Tourism services agency 7.52 7.29 8.25 8.20 6.11 8.67 6.74 6.09 8.19 7.35 6.75 6.25 9.88 7.25 4.27 City government Tourism bureau Tourism consortium Local Tourism Association National Tourism Association Tour operator 7.11 6.

50 6.38 5.25 6.44 7.58 9.95 4.36 Guest house Hotel Agri-tourism firms Bed breakfast Camping Holiday house Residence Rural tourism firms VOL.75 6.58 8.43 7.56 8.82 National Tourism Association 7.88 6.24 5.75 9.31 6.57 7.78 8.38 7.71 6.31 3.56 6.30 5.09 7.33 4.00 6.29 4.00 5.67 8.58 8.83 5.83 4.42 7.92 6.67 6.57 6.48 6.17 7.00 7. 65 NO.15 7.73 Tour operator 7.32 5.28 6.50 9.00 6.16 8.50 6.38 6. 4 2010 TOURISM REVIEW PAGE 25 j j .00 8.88 6.Table III Propensity to collaborate in marketing activity (sample mean) Regional government Tourism Bureau 8.08 6.10 7.96 7.08 8.13 6.82 Provincial government City government Tourism consortiums Local Tourism Association 7.18 Travel agency 7.89 5.83 5.02 5.16 7.18 6.00 7.55 8.38 6.67 4.75 9.98 6.58 9.80 3.90 7.56 8.

65 NO. while acknowledging that simple means are not the best indicators because they give the same weight to all observations without taking into account their importance. Regarding the marketing activity (Table V). travel agencies and tourism consortiums. regional and provincial governments) are more important for both management and marketing activities than PAGE 26 TOURISM REVIEW VOL. In conclusion. the evidence from NA indicates that the public sector (tourism bureau. the most important stakeholder resulting from the centrality indicator is the tourism bureau. 4 2010 j j . In general results so far obtained are consistent with the descriptive statistics. while the least preferred are tour operators. Consistent with Figure 3 are measures of closeness and betweenness which indicate that provincial government and travel agencies place in an intermediate position in the preference scale of hospitality firms.Figure 2 Network graph relative to management activity Figure 3 Network graph relative to marketing activity closeness indexes and discloses that the main stakeholders are provincial governments and tourism bureaus.

00 8.0 61.5 80. max.7 72.09 632 65.3 7.28 769 39.5 2.24 12.0 73.0 1. social measurement perspective appears less pronounced.6 628 43.1 6.1 64.1 68.7 80.0 66.00 7 8 8 8 6 10 8 8 2 8 8 7 7. Despite the diverse approaches.36 12.8 47.91 private stakeholders.00 7 8 7 7 7 8 3 8 8 7.1 64.3 73.00 1.9 3.00 1.1 61.50 3.33 5.9 73.6 68.8 68.83 5.9 68.0 2. 2007).7 61.3 57.8 61.0 61.33 3.8 64.7 72.1 68.83 3.6 4.8 78.5 61. 65 NO.4 7. with exception of travel agencies that seem to also rate highly in the scale of preference.12 1.7 80.0 1.3 57.0 3.0 Betweenness centrality 2.00 Closeness centrality In-closeness Out-closeness 66.8 64. Conclusion The purpose of this study was to discuss stakeholder theory using state of the art network analysis applied to the investigation of the relationships between stakeholders in tourism destinations.7 57.9 1.92 76. Degree centrality In-degree Out-degree 8 8 8 8 6 8 5 6 8 8 7 8 7.9 3.00 9.03 32.9 3.0 70.3 61.4 55.72 12. the VOL.02 88.06 5.20 10.5 72.42 7.51 0. 4 2010 TOURISM REVIEW PAGE 27 j j .9 61. The first result is while tourism literature pays significant attention to the issue about quantitative destination performance measurement (Presenza.36 6.7 69.5 6.5 72.0 15.5 53.8 6.43 3.39 2.33 1.0 4.0 2.16 63.7 72.05 772 49.Table IV Network indicators relative to management activity Tourism destination’s stakeholders City government Local Tourism Association National Tourism Association Other operators Provincial government Regional government Research Institutes Tour operator Tourism Bureau Tourism consortiums Tourism services agency Travel agency Descriptive statistics Mean Standard deviation Sum Variance min.0 61.4 0.6 Betweenness centrality 9. Conclusions can be drawn from the research findings and the discussion throughout this paper.8 64.3 80.9 Table V Network indicators relative to marketing activity Tourism destination’s stakeholders City government Local Tourism Association National Tourism Association Provincial government Regional government Tour operator Tourism Bureau Tourism consortiums Travel agency Descriptive statistics Mean Standard deviation Sum Variance min max Degree centrality In-degree Out-degree 9 8 7 7 7 6 8 5 6 7.22 3.8 61.56 2.3 8.7 47.3 80. 6.84 88.8 64.7 53.00 8.5 6.0 Closeness centrality In-closeness Out-closeness 73.7 66.0 1.1 55.2 3.5 80.8 64.00 10.49 63.7 66.0 72.33 1.

It should be observed that the quantitative tools and methods used here are not completely sufficient to give a complete range of outcomes. The capability to develop and carry out those roles require specific managerial talent that could be regarded as one of the critical success factors: we are thinking to the ‘‘facilitators’’. This paper has illustrated differences in measures of interorganizational cohesion investigating the propensity of hospitality firms to ‘‘open’’ their doors to the stakeholders in order to better manage their activities. levels of institutionalization and power relations. The visualization of the relationships of stakeholders renders the approach especially useful because the structures can be easily interpreted by managers and communicated to the destination stakeholders themselves.. all categories surveyed attribute scores generally positive to the relations with all stakeholders. The lack of theoretical and empirical works on this topic suggests that future research should devote more resources and attention to further exploring the importance of simultaneous cooperation and competition among tourism businesses in a destination. to develop a better understanding of less tangible. 4 2010 j j . It is also an expression of awareness and willingness of actors to be part of the network. relating to both management and marketing activities. which embraces supporting cooperation among dispersed actors in order to bring about the desired outcomes. By analyzing structures and linkages. managers may improve their competitive advantage by using NA (Scott et al. this methodology can help policy and management approaches to highlight limitations and opportunities in destination structures. Further investigation may therefore be set up. future studies can contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms of collaboration in the tourism context emphasizing the necessity to represent the key actors that form the tourist destination and the importance of their role inside the network. Even reading the results of the survey there is a general confirmation of this assertion. 65 NO. With this background work. firms are willing to cooperate if they perceive rewards to outweigh costs and risks. importing analytical and theoretical techniques. In other words. regional and provincial governments) are more important for both management and marketing activities than private stakeholders. the findings indicate the importance of investigating the ‘‘softer’’ and less tangible social and cultural aspects of networks. rules of conduct. A logical step in extending the research described in this paper is to further refine the parameters that can be used for calculating more indices proposed by the network analysis. by sharing information and expertise and by consolidating relationships between the parties. acquiring and deploying knowledge within the net. While organizing an investigation of networks around structure and relational characteristics provides a rich descriptive insights. Although with different values. The evidence from NA highlights that public sector (namely tourism bureau. It is reasonable to hypothesize that the presence of informational. Trust is nurtured by commitment. interpersonal and or decisional roles can help to transform the theoretical added value offered by the inter-organizational network in concrete competitiveness in the medium/long term. in other words. PAGE 28 TOURISM REVIEW VOL. as well as the motivation behind the relationships. cultural aspects that go beyond structure and relations to explore the dynamics associated with actor strategies. actors able to orchestrate the network sharing. It is therefore necessary to consider the dimension ‘‘trust’’ (Franch et al.success of the collaboration depends on the perception firms have about the convenience of undertaking joint activities. The second conclusion is that a sustainable tourism destination strategy requires collaborative and inclusionary consensus-building practices. except for travel agencies that seem to also be rated highly in the scale of preference. 2008). This also involves the ability to manage in networks. 2008). As competition around the world increases.. The last result is more related to the use of network analysis for the understanding of the tourism destination’s structure.

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