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Destination marketing: competition, cooperation or coopetition?

Youcheng Wang (University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Shaul Krakover (Ben‐Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 7 March 2008




The purpose of this paper is to understand the business relationships among the tourism industry stakeholders in conducting collaborative destination marketing activities.


This research takes a case study approach by focusing on the investigation of the business relationships among tourism industry stakeholders in Elkhart County, Indiana. Interviews with five staff members from the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau as well as 32 tourism industry representatives were conducted in order to answer the research questions.


The interview results indicate that different relationships of cooperation, competition and coopetition coexist among the tourism stakeholders. Four cooperative relationships with various degrees of formalization, integration, and structural complexity are involved. In addition, four factors have been identified as affecting this relationship configuration. The perceived relationship between cooperation and competition was also found to be vital with reference to the marketing of a destination.

Research limitations/implications

Given the exploratory nature and case study approach of the research, caution is required in interpreting the results of the study, particularly in generalizing the study results to other destinations.


The paper provides practical implications to tourism businesses in their efforts to collectively market their destination, particularly in relation to how they balance the relationship between cooperation and competition, individual benefits and common benefits in order to achieve success for both the destination and their individual businesses.



Wang, Y. and Krakover, S. (2008), "Destination marketing: competition, cooperation or coopetition?", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 126-141.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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