1. Taking the first theme - management issues in the tourism sector, Campos, Mendes, Silva and do Valle develop a set of critical success factors to assist organisations in developing a total quality culture. These success factors include leadership and employee empowerment, underscoring the fact that quality is the concern of everyone in the organisation. A number of papers looked at the hospitality sector. Batista, Couto, Botelho and Faias’ paper focusses on the contemporary issue of guest satisfaction and loyalty in the hospitality industry in the Azores. Using a structural modelling approach they show that the hotel’s quality of service and response to complaints are the most influential variables in determining guest loyalty. Their paper makes a strong contribution not only to the academic literature on the determinants of guest loyalty but also provides important practical information to assist the industry in managing loyalty. Nunes and Machado’s paper also has practical implications for the hotel industry. They examine performance evaluation methods used by the hotel industry including techniques such as the balanced scorecard and management accounting. Their findings show a clear link between the overall performance result and the technique used. Robledo and Aran examine the role of internal marketing in Spanish hotels, noting that internal marketing is an under-researched area in tourism and their results clearly show that only the larger chains use the concept of internal marketing. A further paper focussing on Spanish hotels is by Gemar concluding that cultural distance has a significant impact on the internationalisation of hotel companies.
A second set of papers dealt with the air transport sector. Carballo-Cruz and Costa’s paper examines the success factors of Oporto airport. Their paper draws out some important generalisations in terms of regional airport operation, clearly pointing to the influence of low cost carriers in regional airport development and the imperative of an airport to both capitalise on new routes and capacity expansion through infrastructure development. Building upon this approach, Iniguez, Plumed and Martinez use an innovative network approach to analyse the influence of the low cost carrier Ryanair on Spain. The findings clearly show the dependence of coastal destinations upon the carrier and how their choice of routes has opened up new destinations. Of course, the dependence of destinations on carriers is a well-known risk to survival.
2. Turning to the second theme of technology, Nunes and Mayer have written an innovative paper investigating the link between mobile technology, games and natural areas from a tourism perspective. Their research focuses on the concept of the tourist always being connected and develops a smartphone game to link the visitors more closely with the destination. This is a significant paper explicitly linking visitor experience, technology and interpretation. The second paper on technology is by Limberger, F. dos Anjos, de Souza Meira and S. dos Anjos. They tackle the highly relevant and contemporary issue of the use of Tripadvisor.com by hotel users. The paper shows how social media have completely revolutionised the way that tourists seek and exchange information about tourism products. Still on the theme of user generated reviews, Chaves, Laurel, Sacramento and Pedron perform a content analysis of on-line restaurant reviews, concluding that quality of food, staff, communication, price and atmosphere are the most frequently mentioned aspects of the reviews.
3. The final theme examines destinations. The paper by Santos, Ferreira and Costa examines the factors that influence the competitiveness of mature tourism destinations, concluding that the specific factors can be grouped into infrastructure, strategic management, economic vitality and the cumulative impacts of tourism. Filho’s paper examines the leisure behaviour of white water rafting guides and the concept of liminality, showing that the relationship between rafting guides goes beyond the workplace. Canizares, Tabales and Garcia surveyed local residents’ attitudes to tourism development in the emergent destination of Cape Verde. The paper supports evolutionary models of tourism development where local residents see tourism as economically beneficial in the early years of development. Still on the theme of the social impact of tourism, Monterrubio and Mendoza-Ontioveros examine the concept of the demonstration effect on a destination in Mexico. The paper by Abdalla, Ribas and da Costa Viera examines the antecedents of word of mouth when selecting a Brazilian tourism destination - a paper which reflected the large number of Brazilian researchers attending the conference. Rey-Moreno, Medina-Molina and Ruffin-Moreno’s paper investigates the role of different tourist attractions as a moderating influence in explaining the development of destination loyalty, whilst Kitterlin and Yoo look at loyalty and festival motivation, concluding that the audience mix and resultant ‘festivalscape’ are important in explaining visitor loyalty and satisfaction.
In summary, the papers in this issue fulfil the aims and values of both the conference and the journal. They are contemporary in their approach, draw out both conceptual and practical implications from the research and provide a significant addition to the bodies of knowledge in both tourism and hospitality.
Chris Cooper/December 2013
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