Industrial organization of the package tour industry: implications for researchers

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This paper argues that better understanding and improved research on the tourism industry will be achieved by a clearer methodological basis. This requires an examination of the logic of inference that underlies competing claims about tourism issues. In order to understand competing opinions and to evaluate respective claims some methodological discussion is required. It is suggested that there is a need for an alternative logic of inference than that implied by the 'positivism' in statistical methods and that an appropriate alternative would be a combination of generalized statistical analyses and casespecific 'qualitative' investigations. This is discussed in the context of the body of theory known in economics as 'industrial organization' as applied to the UK package tour industry. For example, rather than imposing generalized theoretical explanations, like the Industrial Organisation paradigm per se, it is important that the intrinsic context of the subject matter in the tourism environment is drawn on. Researchers should work closely with the industry to understand fully the processes at work to develop case-specific knowledge and to generate new theoretical insights.


Document Type: Regular Paper


Publication date: June 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Tourism Economics, published bimonthly, is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the economics and finance of tourism worldwide. Articles address the components of the tourism product (accommodation; restaurants; merchandizing; attractions; transport; entertainment; tourist activities); and the economic organization of tourism at micro and macro levels (market structure; role of public/private sectors; community interests; strategic planning; marketing; finance; economic development).

    Fast Track. Tourism Economics Fast Track papers have been peer-reviewed, revised and fully accepted for publication. However, although these are the final versions from the authors, they are unedited manuscripts and will undergo a rigorous editing process before their appearance in an issue of the journal. This means that the Fast Track manuscripts may not conform to journal style in terms of presentation, spelling and other usages. They may also contain errors of typography, grammar, spelling, referencing, etc, all of which will be corrected in the processes of copy-editing and proofreading.
    Tourism Economics operates a Fast Track online publication system so that papers can be published and made available almost immediately on final acceptance by the journal. Each Fast Track article is given a DOI. When the paper is assigned to an issue, this DOI will automatically be transferred to the article in the journal issue.
    Fast Track articles may be cited using the DOI. Citations should include the author's or authors' name(s), the title of the article, the title of the journal followed by the words Fast Track, the year of Fast Track publication and the DOI. For example:

    Smith, J. (2013), Article title, Tourism Economics Fast Track, DOI xxxxxxxx.

    Once the paper has been published in an issue of the journal, the DOI will automatically resolve to that final version and the article can be cited in accordance with normal bibliographical conventions.

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