Title: Tourism networks unravelled; a review of the literature on networks in tourism management studies
Authors: van der Zee, Egbert ×
Vanneste, Dominique #
Issue Date: Jul-2015
Publisher: Elsevier
Series Title: Tourist Management Perspectives vol:15 pages:46-56
Abstract: This paper presents an overview of the current state of research into tourism networks, by providing a systematic
literature review and relational citation analysis of 98 scientific papers focusing on network collaboration in tourism
destinations. The aim of this study is to get a better understanding why the promising theoretical claims of potential
benefits of networked collaboration in tourist destinations are so little supported by empirical evidence. This paper
shows that there are two explanations for this lack of empirically proven benefits. First, progress is hampered by the
lack of integration within the field of tourism network studies. The citation analysis identified the existence of different
sub-fields of research. These sub-fields apply different approaches towards tourism networks, both from a
theoretical and from a methodological perspective. There is little cross-fertilization between the sub-fields and integrative
studies are still scarce. Second, while many studies show interesting and promising findings, the field would
make more progress, if researchers would reflect more systematically on the relationship between network goals
and projected outcomes, and on the most suitable methodology to test the effects of the desired network development
in a comprehensive way. Since networks thrive on the perspectives of future benefits that accrue from
network participation, there is a need for empirical proof of these network outcomes. Examples of best practices
should be provided which visualise and explain the benefits of networks. Tangible, quantitative benefits have to
be found in order to stimulate tourism entrepreneurs investing time and money in local tourism networks.
ISSN: 2211-9736
VABB publication type: VABB-1
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division of Geography & Tourism
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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