2 12, 2015

International Tourism Context – literature reviews

By |December 2nd, 2015|International Tourism Context, literature review|0 Comments

We want to give you a more transparent insight into the Master study program of  Tourism Destination Management and its contents. Therefore, we would like to present you some examples of Literature Reviews that were produced in the International Tourism Context (ITC) course of our current master students. If you have any questions regarding the content […]

22 01, 2013

The LGBT Tourism Market: Its Quest for more Heterogeneity

By |January 22nd, 2013|International Tourism Context, literature review|0 Comments

As part of their master in Tourism Destination Management study program, the students have written literature reviews in the domain of “International Tourism Context”. In this sixth and final literature review Mandy Wientjens talks about the LGBT tourism market: its quest for more heterogeneity.
Although once a nearly ignored segment of the international travel market, the LGBT tourist has received an increased level of attention in the last two decades from academic researchers as well as business practitioners. So far a major part of the academic research conducted in this field has investigated in what way the motivations and consumer behavior of the LGBT segment does or does not differ from the mainstream market (Clift and Forrest, 1999; Holcomb and Luongo, 1996; Hughes, 1997, 2002, 2006; Monterrubio, 2009; Poria and Tailor, 2001; Pritchard et al., 1998, 2000).

Although previous research has made clear that there are substantial differences, the question can be raised whether this research is representative for the whole LGBT market, and thus whether this market can be seen as a homogenous market segment. In this light, it has been argued that there are significant differences within the LGBT market when it comes to age (Hughes and Deutsch, 2010; Pritchard et al, 1998) and gender (Hughes, 2006; Pritchard et al., 2002; Puar, 2002). As such, the purpose of this literature review is to discuss the consumer behavior characteristic of the LGBT tourism segment, while special attention is devoted to a more nuanced view of differences among LGBT consumers.

Within the academic literature there seems to be a widespread consensus that the LGBT tourism market features characteristics that are regarded as particularly favorable for the tourism industry, like higher average disposable incomes, more repeat visits, and less seasonal behavior (Pritchard et al, 1998). As a result improved knowledge of the consumer behavior of potential sub segments of the LGBT tourism market will be of interest not only to academics but to business practice as well.

22 01, 2013

Discovering new forms of tourism: slow tourism

By |January 22nd, 2013|International Tourism Context, literature review, Publication|1 Comment

As part of their master in Tourism Destination Management study program, the students have written literature reviews in the domain of “International Tourism Context”. In this fifth of six literature reviews Julia Terhorst talks about discovering new forms of tourism: slow tourism.
The slow movement is present in many parts of everyday life and one can easily get the feeling that the adjective slow is added to all phenomenon, industries and sectors. One of these sectors is the tourism sector (Fullagar, Wilson & Markwell, 2012).

The slow movement is an antidote to the increasingly faster global activities. It is for all those who want to slow down and are fed with pace, but also for those who want to explore the opportunities of being unlike and in the context of tourism, moving differently (Fullagar, & Wilson & Markwell, 2012). Slowing down while being on holiday is described by the term ‘slow travel’ or ‘slow tourism’ (Rawlinson, 2011). Research has shown that slow tourism is an emerging market segment that is forecasted to grow annually 10% in Western Europe during the next five years. Furthermore, it has been concluded as ‘a significant alternative to ‘sun and sea’ and cultural tourism’ (Lumsdon & McGrath, 2011).

Moreover, different forms of alternative tourism, as ecotourism, sustainable tourism and slow tourism have emerged that have certain characteristics in common, regarding the quality of the time spent on holiday. This gives travellers from highly developed countries the opportunity to return to forgotten places and experience those areas (Nistireanu, Dorobantu & Tuclea, 2011).

Slow travel can take place everywhere and is not time bound; it does not involve travelling long distances or at a certain speed. In fact slow travellers can start their journey when stepping out of the doorway and their destination can only be a few kilometres away. Nevertheless, it does not exclude journeys to the other end of the world (Rawlinson, 2011).

This literature review examines the new market segment of slow travellers that can be characterized by travelling shorter distances, at a greater emphasis on the travel experience by having low-carbon consumption. As everyone can engage in slow travel it is hard to draw an exact definition for this market segment (Rawlinson, 2011). Furthermore, the travel motivations of slow travellers and their destination experiences are studied.


22 01, 2013

Effects of global warming and tourism on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia

By |January 22nd, 2013|Climate change, International Tourism Context, literature review|1 Comment

As part of their master in Tourism Destination Management study program, the students have written literature reviews in the domain of “International Tourism Context”. In this fourth of six literature reviews Stefanie Huebner talks about effects of global warming and tourism on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland
Ruhanen (2008) identifies an increasing need to adapt the principles of sustainability in tourism development planning and management. More destinations are facing severe ecological, economical and socio-cultural threats and entering a stage of no return (Conservation International, 2003). Given this critical situation, awareness of the stakeholders is important. These stakeholders include “any group or individual who can affect, or is affected by the achievement of a corporation’s purpose” (Friedmann, 2006).

The natural environment of a destination and the climate conditions are essential drivers, influencing the choice (Becken & Hay, 2007), suitability and the unique charm of a tourism destination (Dwyer & Kim, 2003). The effects of global warming are strongly connected to visitor behavior. Sensitive ecosystems are vulnerable to global warming and the human impacts from visitors and locals.

Dwyer (2007) claims that impacts of global warming and tourism are constantly increasing. Conservation International (2003) considers tourism to be an opportunity for conserving nature and a threat if it is done improperly.

The effects of global warming as well as the immense rising number of visitors threaten the social, economic and cultural value to the people of Australia (GBRMPA, 2012).

The Great Barrier Reef, faces the threat of global warming. This is mainly caused by greenhouse gases as a result of human activity, leading to an increase of the sea temperatures and impacting upon coral reefs (WWF, 2004). Statistics show that the Great Barrier Reef will lose 95% of its living coral by 2050 (New Scientist, 2004).

The lack of awareness of visitors and locals, visible in unsustainable reef use, has a severe impact on the survival of the reef (GBRMPA, 2012).

Only little attention is given to other causes of depletion of the Great Barrier Reef such as cyclones  or the crown-of-thorns starfish overpopulation (Brodie, Fabricius, De’ath, Okaji).

In this literature review I discuss the different causes for the depletion of sensitive areas, using the example of the Great Barrier Reef. Solutions for sustainable management and preservation need to be considered on both global and national level.


22 01, 2013

The influence of user-generated content (UGC) and the importance of a solid social media strategy

By |January 22nd, 2013|International Tourism Context, literature review, Publication|1 Comment

As part of their master in Tourism Destination Management study program, the students have written literature reviews in the domain of “International Tourism Context”. In this third of six literature reviews Veronica Wee discusses the influence of user-generated content (UGC) and the importance of a solid social media strategy.

This research covers a critical analysis of online reviews in the tourism industry; challenges faced in online review management and methods of current social media strategies implemented by Destination Management Organizations (DMO’s), airline and hotel operators.
Growing dependence on the Internet has transformed it into the main source of information (Sparks & Browning 2010). More recently, social media networks and user-generated content (UGC) have changed the way users share their experiences (Hvass & Munar 2012). In a more general context, social networking is a combination of online communities that provides a variety of platforms (eg. Emailing, Blogging, photo tagging, videos) to facilitate consumer interconnections (Bruyn & Lilien 2008) for interaction (Click & Petit 2010).

In the tourism industry, online applications, advance social websites (TripAdvisor, Yelp, IgoUgo, etc.), and online booking websites (Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity.com, etc) provide an interactive display of experiences and commentary review of a destination, property, facilities and restaurants (Litvin & Hoffman 2012). What was recorded in traditional form is now digitalized and shared globally (Munar 2012). The phenomenon of posting videos and digitalizing experiences developed a new paradigm of information sharing (Ruzic & Biloz 2010), which is now referred to as electronic word of mouth (Sparks & Browning 2010). Social media websites allow consumers to spread their experiences (Yu 2012), and interconnectivity and density of networks facilitate positive or negative reviews to travel quickly (Bruyn & Lilien 2008).

Travellers nowadays often use the Internet for destination research prior to decision-making. Online web applications and social media websites are a critical element in the travel planning process (Ruzic & Biloz 2010). It is apparent that 63 percent of leisure tourists and 69 percent of tourists on business use the Internet prior to planning trips, hotel bookings and airline reservations (European Travel Commission, 2010). Online reviews of a destination or property not only possess the ability to attract or detract a traveller, but also develop consumer expectations (Bruyn & Lilien 2008).

As many travellers consult online reviews before firming vacation plans (Vermuelen & Seegers 2009), it is evident that a level of trust is accorded, especially in positively framed reviews about previous traveller’s experience (Sparks & Browning 2010). Travellers are more influenced by online travel reviews and guides (European Travel Commission, 2012), as they believe reviews may assist in a better purchase decision (Qiang Ye et al. 2011). In this case, what are DMO’s doing to influence a traveller’s choice? Are the necessary steps and strategies being taken to explore this growing market?

22 12, 2011

Customer satisfaction – a big step towards company profitability?

By |December 22nd, 2011|International Tourism Context, literature review|1 Comment

This literature review is written by Bernd-Niklas Bierbaum as part of his NHTV Master in Tourism Destination Management.

In their paper, Hesket et al. (1994) introduce the concept of the service profit chain.  “The S-PC postulates that operations contribute to the profits of a service firm via the following chain of logical deduction (Yee et al. 2009, p.617):”

Profitability and growth are primarily stimulated by customer loyalty.
Loyalty is influenced by customer satisfaction.
Satisfaction is influenced by the service values provided.
Value is created by loyal productive and satisfied employees.
Employee satisfaction results from support services and policies that enable employees to deliver high quality services. (Heskett et al. 1994)

This paper will focus on the question whether it is enough for a company to simply „satisfy“ their customers in order to achieve loyalty and finally profitability. In the following, the question will be raised and discussed whether there might be more to the concept of profitability than simply being able to satisfy a customer. Therefore, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, the relationship between loyalty and profitability and finally the importance of the “moment of truth” and the service encounter will be evaluated and highlighted from different standpoints.


25 11, 2011

Limitations and incentives for sustainable tourism development

By |November 25th, 2011|International Tourism Context, literature review, Master in Tourism Destination Management, sustainable tourism|1 Comment

This literature review is written by Ruta Dambyte as part of her NHTV Master in Tourism Destination Management.

The implementation of sustainable practices in tourism related companies is an object of discussions by many academics. There are various researches made about incentives and obstacles while switching towards sustainable business model (Le & Hollenhorst, 2005; La Lopa & Day, 2011). The scholars question if sustainability is a trend, a way to gain more profit (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2009) or moral duty (Jarvis, Simcock, Weeden, 2010). Moreover, the doubts are being expressed towards the existence of sustainability in tourism while being a very complex industry (Vukonovic, n.d.). Therefore, this literature review reefers to the main reasons limiting tourism related companies to implement sustainability, as well as the incentives to switch towards different business approach.


25 11, 2011

Authenticity and commodification in changing tourism trends

By |November 25th, 2011|International Tourism Context, literature review, Master in Tourism Destination Management|3 Comments

This literature review is written by Claire Bougot as part of her NHTV Master in Tourism Destination Management.
The issues ofauthenticity in relation to the commodification of culture are present in many sectors of the tourism industry (e.g. heritage tourism, ethnic tourism) and are relevant to most destinations worldwide, in the developing as well as the Western world (Chhabra et al., 2003; Gjerald, 2005; McIntosh and Prentice, 1999; Silver, 1993; Van den Berghe, 1995). This review will however focus on developing world destinations in order to highlight the power imbalance created by western defined criteria of authenticity in tourism and its subsequent staging. Since cross-cultural encounters have been designated as one of the drivers of the commodification of culture in host societies (Shepherd, 2002),the global context in which such encounters take place highlights the relevance of the debate on authenticity for tourism studies. Indeed, many host-guest encounters occur as a result of the tourists’ quest for authenticity as described by MacCannell (1973). Many authors have contributed to the debate on authenticity and the commodification of culture in the academic literature since MacCannell’s (1973) work. The debate starts around the definition of authenticity, a wide and complex concept used by academic writers with different meanings. This review will start by clarifying some of the uses of the term in the academic literature with regard to object, staged and emergent authenticity, but will be centredon the concept of the quest for authenticity. Once the concepts of authenticity used in this context have been clarified, the review will move on to consider the positive and negative impacts of culture commodification and staging authenticity, as well as the use of staged authenticity as a resistance tool by host communities. It will attempt to highlight the shortcomings of the literature in considering the impacts of culture commodification on locals existing outside the tourism industry and the need to update the debate on authenticity and culture commodification in the light of new tourism trends such as poverty tourism. The review will focus mainly on the perspective of the host (including both locals existing within and outside the tourism industry) to consider these impacts.

25 11, 2011

Thanatourism and Dark Tourists: Why they Walk in the Shadows

By |November 25th, 2011|dark tourism, International Tourism Context, literature review, Master in Tourism Destination Management|2 Comments

This literature review is written by Akshara Walia as part of her NHTV Master in Tourism Destination Management.


Dark tourism- also known as ‘Thanatourism’- is a thriving phenomenon which has generated considerable interest within the tourism industry. The term was first coined by Foley and Lennon (Stone Sharpley, 2008), and has been generally described as “tourism involving locations associated with death and great suffering” (Gibson, 2006: pg. 47). This literature review will attempt to understand and analyse the various motivations and perceptions of tourists visiting these dark sites.

The fundamental motive for visiting dark sites is being explored in modern research. According to Stone and Sharpley, “visitors are seen to be driven by differing intensities of interest or fascination in death” (Stone Sharpley, 2008: pg 6). Hence, it can be perceived that visitor motivations are not homogenous.

The motivations of visitors can be further explored through the differentiation in degrees of dark tourism. Due to the varied and uniquely different nature of dark tourism products, the term dark tourism itself is vague and ambiguous (Stone, 2006).

The existing literature on the motivations for dark tourism is fragmented (Stone, 2011). To bridge the gaps in existing literature, a deeper insight is required relating to the definition of dark tourism itself.

Relating to this perspective, seven suppliers of dark tourism have been identified ranging from ‘light’ to ‘dark’ dark tourism (Stone, 2006). These were described as a “spectrum of supply outlined with a subsequent seven type categorisation of dark tourism suppliers” (Stone, 2006: Pg. 157). They include dark fun factories, dark exhibitions, dark dungeons, dark resting places, dark shrines, dark conflict sites and dark genocide camps. Thus a range of tourist experiences has been created from the lightest shades (haunted houses at amusement parks) to the darkest (Auschwitz). This sub categorization of dark tourism enables a broader perspective into the motivations of visitors depending on the ‘degree of darkness’. For example, the motivations of a tourist on a Jack the Ripper tour in London will differ from those of a tourist at the Killing Fields in Cambodia.


25 11, 2011

Danger of Urban Tourism in Asia

By |November 25th, 2011|International Tourism Context, literature review, Master in Tourism Destination Management|0 Comments

This literature review is written by Wendy Yang as part of her NHTV Master in Tourism Destination Management.

Urban tourism has become one of main stream in tourism research since more and more urban areas promoted themselves as the most “charming”, ”sparkling” or ”touching” place on earth. In Asia, since so-called ‘tiger’ cities rose, city promotion combined with urban tourism has been view as a stage on which the state exhibits the success of economic success and modernized (Ward, 2005).Southeast Asia became a popular tourism destination to international visitors around 1970.From the beginning, tourism in Asia which consists of beach, sex, drugs, food and shopping has been based on urban. After two decades of development, in 1990s, East Asia pacific region received 16 percent of international tourists and 46 percent of them travelled to Southeast Asia (Mullins, 1999). According to UNWTO (2011), the average annual growth of international tourist arrivals in Southeast from 1995 to 2010 is 6.8 percent, second to Middle East.Hong Kong and Singapore, with spectacular growth, has been the best model for other Asian city states to imitate.In addition, Bangkok is also a good example to explain how being as a tourist gateway bring rapid growth to a city.The instant and obvious economic benefits and glory of “modern” have already driven more and more city authorities in Asia to develop tourism enthusiastically as the priority of policy. However, what if every city tries to attract tourists by using similar strategies and elements, like shopping, food and Skyscrapers (Leiper& Park, 2010). Furthermore these cities are all located in Asia, possibly modernized to different degree, but move to the same direction which early successful tourism Asian cities once went on.How do these cities make themselves to be more recognized? And do their efforts work? Is there any stakeholder without or within power but in urgency due to fast growth of urban tourism? Environmental issues about tourism in rural area have been discussed a lot, how about urban tourism? What kind of environmental impact could urban tourism cause?The ignored danger of urban tourism is the core of this literature review concerns about. […]