Winning Strategies for the 21st Century
Edited by Saïd Yami, Sandro Castaldo and Giovanni Battista Dagnino
Chapter 8: Coopetition Among Nature-based Tourism Firms: Competition at Local Level and Cooperation at Destination Level
Ossi Pesämaa and Per-Erik Eriksson INTRODUCTION In tourism we often find situations where firms compete at a local level and simultaneously cooperate at a destination level to outperform other destinations (Pesämaa and Hair, 2007, 2008). This situation of combining competition and cooperation by differentiating business activities at different levels is known as coopetition (Brandenburger and Nalebuff, 1996). Various examples from the tourism literature emphasize different aspects of this dilemma. One coopetitive advantage seems to exist in sharing informational platforms (Belleflamme and Neysen, 2006) or marketing activities at a destination level (Grängsjö, 2003), but in all other aspects remaining competititors. Also, organizational aspects of coopetition are recognized in the tourism literature. Wang and Krakover (2008) argue that firms are diversifying among different types of relationships by independently controlling close relationships but organizing themselves in webs of interdependent activities when relationships are more distant from customers. We therefore claim that tourism firms focus too much on competition at a local level instead of cooperating locally and competing against each other at a destinations level. Coopetition is especially significant in tourism, since the place (that is, a geographical area) is the basis for the attraction through which the destination is developed. These attractions can be both man-made and natural. Recall that one theoretical idea of coopetition is that long-term strategic cooperative objectives should dominate competition, which is mostly derived by short-term financial interests (Wang and Krakover, 2008). This idea of coopetition can be challenging in tourism, especially when it is...
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