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Book review: Global Alliances in Tourism&Hospitality Management

The book edited by John C. Crotts, Dimitrios Buhalis and Roger March (The Haworth Hospitality Press) is based on eight high quality refereed papers that…

The book edited by John C. Crotts, Dimitrios Buhalis and Roger March (The Haworth Hospitality Press) is based on eight high quality refereed papers that were published in International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration (Volume 1, Number 1, 2000). The goal of the book is to provide a published record of leading-edge thinking in inter- and intra-industry network building, with emphasis on strategic management, distribution practices and marketing in the tourism and hospitality sector. The editors of `Global Alliances in Tourism & Hospitality Management` have put together a series of empirical, research-based cases backed with appropriate theory. These cases are aimed at examining diversified issues that are related to the development of international cooperation and long-term alliances in the global tourism and hospitality industry.

The development of sustainable strategic alliances is a critical issue for organisations competing in the world tourism market. By making an alliance or entering in a partnership agreement or in a network, a tourism firm can both increase its ability for implementing a more efficient and effective marketing mix, as well as reaching new market segments while lowering costs. Yet, research suggests that many strategic alliances fail. Therefore, the main value of the book reviewed here is that it offers in-depth research insights and detailed innovative ideas on how to build and maintain mutually beneficial strategic alliances in the global tourism field.

The book is divided into eight parts, with various experts providing well-researched contributions. In addition, the individual papers make significant contributions to the literature on strategic alliances. Crotts, Buhalis and March provide a very good introduction to both the book and the issue of global alliances in hospitality and tourism. They establish the basic framework of partnerships and examine issues related to partnership potential and ability, partner selection, and partnership maintenance. Chapter 2, also written by Roger March, presents a case study focusing on buyer decision-making behaviour in international tourism channels, namely on business-to-business relationships in cross-national markets; the study surveyed 26 inbound tour operators specialising in the Asian and japans inbound markets into Australia. Bruce Money, in chapter 3, examines the role of word-of-mouth referrals and the impact of social networks in buying of travel services by North American and Japanese companies; his findings indicate that culture has more impact than location on buying behaviour.

In chapter 4, Helmut Waser and Nick Johns present very interesting insight on team needs and management of multi-ethnic workgroups in hotels. They reach the conclusion that multi-ethnic teams are more open-minded, patient, understanding, sharing common goals and behave as a family in the workplace. David Telfer, in the next chapter, discusses the formation and maintenance of successful strategic alliances between the tourism and agriculture sectors, by examining a relevant good practice case in Niagara, Canada. In chapter 6, Alan Fyall, Ben Oakley and Annette Weiss explore the inter-organisational behaviour within the context of inland waterway boating holidays in Britain. Next, Dimitrios Buhalis, in an excellent paper, examines industrial relationships in the distribution channel of tourism by concentrating on the conflicts experienced between hoteliers and tour operators in the Mediterranean summer/seaside resort context. Finally, in the last chapter, Darla Domke-Damonte explores the evolution of cooperative relationships between members of the U.S. domestic airline industry and other firms outside it, with the goal of identifying performance effects associated with such cooperative alliances.

The book`s only weakness is the fact that its entire contents, without any improvements or additions, have already been published in the International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, hence all those subscribed in this journal need not to read it at all! Despite this one failing, this book is an excellent contribution to the development and management of global strategic alliances theory and practice. The book should be studied not only by tourism academics and researchers, but should be shared with their industry colleagues, too.

Evangelos Christou

T.E.I. of Thessaloniki, Greece


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