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The Dynamics of the Norwegian Package Tour Industry

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Abstract:

This article contributes to an area where there has been little previous research by evaluating how Norwegian package tours are designed, distributed and produced by the main firms, the competitive dynamics of the industry in Norway and the interactions within the stages of designing, distributing and producing/consuming between business actors. Methodologically the study follows a case study research strategy based on semi‐structured interviews, documents and secondary data. The activities of the three multinational companies dominating the market are compared based on six activity stages of the package tour value chain. Ultimately, the business of package tours appears to be a very complex and difficult strategic and managerial balancing act. There are many indications that the actors in the Scandinavian tour operator market make great efforts to obtain economies of scale by increasing size and turnover, by coordinating the utilization of capacities of the subsidiaries they own and control, and by continuous efforts of ‘industrialization' of the service production delivery system. By undertaking diversification strategies the parent companies are able to spread their risks over different target markets and destinations. More research is needed to gain a better picture of the way tour operators manage at regional and corporate levels.

Keywords: Norway; Package tours; competitive dynamics; regional strategies; tour operators

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15022250510014381

Affiliations: 1: Department of Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Management, Business School, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK 2: Norwegian School of Hotel Management, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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