A framework of best practice for UK tourism marketing consortia
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) program undertaken between the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff and Corris Caverns Ltd. identified an opportunity to carry out a study of tourism consortia. The KTP scheme was devised to develop and manage Dyfi Valley Attractions, a tourism marketing consortium in Mid Wales. This consortium provides the case study in which the action research methodology is applied. A review of the literature highlighted a number of current frameworks used to illustrate various elements of tourism consortia and also some clear motivations why UK tourism businesses make the effort to combine resources, including destination competition, cost effective use of resources and public sector incentives. Action research and case study methodology plot a model for best practice in tourism marketing consortia that is useable by practitioners and academics alike. The thesis attempts to corroborate and build upon the findings in the literature by using action research techniques to examine the Dyfi Valley Attractions consortium. Action research was undertaken over a two-year period and incorporates first, second and third person narratives in the form of personal reflections and business reports. The methodology also incorporates a series of case studies that flow from a period of examination to one of explanation. The case studies were grouped into phases so that traditional methods of multiple case study comparison could be undertaken alongside development and refinement of the case study line of investigation. The thesis produces a model for best practice which is developed through the case studies and is substantiated by evidence in the action research and the literature. The proposed model builds upon previous models to produce a flow of 'signposts' which will enable current and developing tourism consortia to evaluate and overcome current problems. The model also fits a lifecycle framework which has been adapted to show more clearly the phases of consortia success over time.
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