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The Political Economy of Destination Promotion African tourism website networks Jeroen van Wijk RSM-Erasmus University ( jwijk@rsm.nl ) Conference “Imagination, Media Power and Reputation”, May 30-31st 2007, The Hague. RSM-Erasmus University and Hotelschool The Hague.

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slide1

The Political Economy of Destination PromotionAfrican tourism website networksJeroen van WijkRSM-Erasmus University (jwijk@rsm.nl)Conference “Imagination, Media Power and Reputation”, May 30-31st 2007, The Hague. RSM-Erasmus University and Hotelschool The Hague.

slide2

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

Main question

How can the tourism industry

support

economic development?

How can imagination, media power and reputation

promote tourism destinations in developing countries

and support economic development?

slide3

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

Analysis of tourism industry actors

Two theoretical approaches

  • Global value chain analysis

> Vertical (international) networks

  • Business systems approach

> Horizontal (national) networks

slide4

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

(1) Global value chain (GVC) analysis

Systemic approach, unit of analysis is:

* not a company, a country, or a region, but

* a network of companies embedded in internal and external

governance systems

Focus:

* Who adds value where in the chain?

* Who is leading actor in the chain?

Normative questions:

* How can chain revenues better be distributed over chain actors?

* How can the chain’s negative impact on the natural system

(‘earth’) be reduced?

slide5

Coordination

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

Global value chain

Consumer

Brand,

reputation

& media

Retail

Manufac

turer

Trader

“Ingredient

branding”

Supplier

Supplier

slide7

Tourist

Travel

agency

Tour

operator

Coordination

Airline

Hotel

Destination

branding

Guide

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

Global value chain

Consumer

Brand,

reputation

& media

Retail

Manufac

turer

Trader

“Ingredient

branding”

Supplier

Supplier

slide8

Tourist

Travel

agency

Tour

operator

Airline

Hotel

Destination

branding

Guide

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

Features tourism GVC

  • Consumption and production at same
  • time and location
  • Chain offers B2C contact opportunity
  • at every node
  • Tourists may shorten and coordinate
  • the chain the chain themselves
  • Destinations have opportunities in
  • branding, reputation, and media
  • Individual service suppliers
  • have those opportunities as
  • well
slide9

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

(2)African segmented business system

Networks of:

* African (indigenous) firms

* Government authorities and para-statals

* African minorities: Asians and Lebanese

* African whites

* Multinationals

* Division urban/rural business

slide10

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

African business networks

Set of social, i.e. not purely market exchange, relationships

between companies (representatives)

They

* Share information about the transaction history of an agent

* Enforce contracts informally

* Interlink, they work on longer term or incomplete “contracts”.

* Reproduce themselves, high barriers to entry

* Often display ethnic or religious concentration, because

these ties offer socialization frameworks.

* May protect common interests

Segmentation is reinforced by the Digital Divide

slide11

Tourist

Travel

agency

Tour

operator

Airline

Hotel

Chain

Guide

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

The political economy of destination promotion

The African model

Which are opportunities for “functional upgrading”

in the GVC, both for the destination and for individual

suppliers?

Who decides on the destination branding?

Which type of tourism is promoted? Which region?

And which supplier networks?

Which are the opportunities for independent

marketing by small tourism firms?

Res

taurant

Local

hotel

Park

Museum

Artist

slide12

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

          • Our research
  • Database of 468 tourism websites in Uganda, Rwanda,

and Mozambique

  • Analyse network structure of website owners/registrants
slide13

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

Tourism portals

Mozambique: No portals with hyperlinks;

only 8 abroad (5 South Africa)

Rwanda: 5 portals (4 foreign, 1 unknown)

Uganda 7 portals (2 foreign)

slide14

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

Website ownership

Mozambique

N=135

Uganda

Rwanda

N=53

N=245

slide15

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

Geographic location tourism service suppliers

Hyperlinks from 6 tourism portalsin Uganda

slide16

The Political Economy of Destination Promotion

Conclusions

1. The Internet offers opportunities for functional upgrading African tourism

destinations and individual firms.

2. Online destination promotion in 3 African countries is highly mediated

by foreigners.

3. Rural tourism stakeholders (CBT, budget accommodation, local artisans) benefit

most from foreign web owners in view of international marketing.

Effective strategy to circumvent the digital divide, but limited opportunities

and new dependency.

4. In Uganda, the native, urban tourism elites dominate tourism promotion, but

their network excludes rural suppliers.