Benefits from service bundling in destination branding: enhancing cooperation among operators in the hospitality industry

Chiara Luisa Cantu', Elena Maria Marcoz, Isabella Maggioni, Chiara Mauri

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno

Abstract

The literature on place branding has shown that the tourism industry is a critical component of the brand equity of places. The growing attention on place branding generated by the evolution of tourists’ behaviour and competition between countries, regions and cities brought out the need of a new strategic approach for tourism organizations. One of the main avenues through which tourism organizations develop the competitiveness of a place, and hence its equity, is service bundling, a practice which is gaining popularity in the tourism industry. Nowadays tourism products are predominantly product-and-service bundles, and customers can choose their favourite solution along a continuum with two extremes: entirely pre-packaged tourism products on one side and completely individual arrangements on the other side (Zins, 1998). Cooperation in tourism destination management is key to create effective service bundling. Dickinson and Ramaseshan (2004, 2008) observe that the tourism industry performance is positively and significantly influenced by cooperation among operators, and that has a positive impact on the brand image of a destination. Therefore brand image of a place is positively influenced by cooperation, which helps the destination in being perceived as unique and well-connected. The main purpose of this paper is to shed light on the role of collaboration among tourism operators in place branding. Our research is focused on hoteliers, who represent a reference point for tourists, and hence a critical player in the tourism industry. Thanks to their close contact with customers, they can be the initiators or promoters of potential partnerships. We investigate the impact of benefits (economic and non-economic) achievable through service bundling on hoteliers’ orientation to networking, i.e. their willingness to collaborate with other organizations such as restaurants, theme parks, spas, etc. We want to test whether the perception of higher benefits through service bundling increases hoteliers’ propensity to cooperate. We interviewed a sample of 164 hoteliers located in Aosta Valley, a small Italian region which has been involved for a long time in promoting its destination as a brand. The main result is that trust in other touristic operators mediates the impact of relational benefits on networking orientation. Another interesting result is the significant impact of operators’ innovativeness, which mediates the relationship between economic benefits and networking orientation.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospite3rd International Colloquium on Place Management, Marketing and Nation Branding - Book of abstracts
Pagine1
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011
EventoInternational Colloquium on Place Management, Marketing and Nation Branding - University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK
Durata: 8 set 20119 set 2011

Convegno

ConvegnoInternational Colloquium on Place Management, Marketing and Nation Branding
CittàUniversity of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK
Periodo8/9/119/9/11

Keywords

  • Destination branding
  • Tourism
  • hoteliers
  • networking orientation
  • place branding
  • service bundling
  • trust

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