COMPETITION OR CO-OPERATION? Small and medium sized tourism enterprises at the destination
Authors: Buhalis, D. and Cooper, C.
This chapter provides an analysis of the problems and issues facing small and medium sized enterprises at the tourism destination, and a case study of Greek island tourism. Tourism destinations are dominated by such small enterprises which, whilst they allow a rapid injection of cash into local economies and provide a feeling of welcome and character to the visitor, are also typified by a lack of strategic vision and management expertise. Given that the nature of developments in the tourism sector on both the supply and demand side support larger enterprises, individual smaller businesses are faced with real problems of survival, although the sector is seen to have continuing potential in most destinations. In particular, their lack of a strong lobbying voice within the matrix of stakeholders at the destination means that they tend to lose out to the stronger voices of large enterprises and political groups in the planning and management of destinations (Heath and Wall, 1992). This chapter outlines the way forward for this very important sector of the industry and outlines the role of supporting agencies for small businesses at the destination.