Tourism partnerships and small firms: Power, participation and partition

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Abstract:

Partnerships have been a central feature of the tourism public policy landscape in advanced capitalist countries for some time. The intuitively appealing argument is that, by sharing expertise and decision making, commitment to the local tourism project is ensured. By participating in partnership working, small firms – which are almost universally characteristic of the sector – are said to contribute to the form and competitiveness of the tourism offer. Drawing on a variety of sources, this paper argues that in most cases such assertions are misplaced because 'partnerships' organized by the public sector are often predicated on an inadequate conceptualization of small firms in tourism, fail to appreciate the importance and complexity of informal economic relations, and usually ignore the particular power relations at play in local tourism policy formation and change.

Keywords: INFORMAL ECONOMY; PARTNERSHIP; POLICY MAKING; POWER; SMALL FIRMS; TOURISM

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/000000007780007344

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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  • Published quarterly, this journal provides a worldwide forum for the exploration and dissemination of ideas and experience relating to the development and application of entrepreneurship. IJEI is interdisciplinary, publishing the highest-quality work in business and management and in the social sciences. Authors and readers are drawn from government, industry and universities. It has particular appeal to researchers and teachers in higher education, especially in business schools, and university departments of management, sociology and psychology.

    Each issue includes double-blind peer-reviewed papers; a case study with teaching notes, an 'Internet Review' section which identifies and reviews Websites on a selected topic, and book reviews. For key topics go to www.ippublishing.com.
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