From firms to extended markets: A cultural approach to tourism product development

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23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The tourism industry is a rapidly growing economic and cultural domain with remarkable societal effects. Critical tourism studies have discussed these effects from different theoretical perspectives. However, they have mostly concentrated on existing tourism products - on their consumption and consequences - and left tourism product development without critical attention. We take up the task of filling this gap. By leaning on the cultural approach of marketing and critical tourism studies we suggest that tourism product development has - as originating from modern marketing and management disciplines - taken the viewpoint of large manufacturing enterprises, and separated service providers from consumers. In this article we discuss a more comprehensive way of understanding product development in tourism. We highlight the complexity and contextualised nature of tourism products and their development by approaching tourism product development from a cultural perspective. We argue that product development should be regarded not only as a managerial process but as a multi-actor cultural construction that allows us to translate cultural market knowledge into products and to keep up with cultural and ideological changes. Instead of renewing the traditional dualism of production-consumption, we theorize and reconceptualize markets to break off from dichotomies separating customers, firms, employees, locals, and regional economic development - production and consumption - from each other. Different market actors are embedded in the markets where several market activities are represented and negotiated to develop competitive and sustainable tourism products. It is time to do business as unusual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-459
Number of pages15
JournalTourism
Volume55
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Critical tourism studies
  • Cultural approach
  • Postmodern marketing
  • Product development
  • Tourism

Field of science

  • Tourism research

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