Volume 6, Issue 2, 2020


The complete Volume 6, Issue 2, 2020, is available to download here!

Detailed information for each paper included in Volume 6, Issue 2, 2020, is presented bellow:


Evangelos Christou (ORCiD), Editor-in-Chief, International Hellenic University, Greece, Anestis Fotiadis (ORCiD), Associate Editor, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
Published online: 30 May 2020, JTHSM, 6(2), pp.1-2.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3841280

We are pleased to present the eleventh publication of JTHSM (volume 6, issue 2), in its sixth year of publication. In previous issues, this journal presented original refereed papers, both conceptual and research-based, focused on various topics of tourism, heritage, and services with an emphasis on marketing and management. Volume 6, issue 2 focus on furthering the journal’s scope and consolidating its position in both conceptual developments and practical applications in tourism, heritage, and services through publication of seven quality manuscripts that underwent rigorous double-blind reviewing: six full papers, one research note, and one book review.

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Co-creating high-value hospitality services in the tourism ecosystem: Towards a paradigm shift?

Antonios Giannopoulos (ORCiD), University of the Aegean, Greece, George Skourtis (ORCiD), Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom, Alexandra Kalliga (ORCiD), Hellenic Open University, Greece, Dimitrios-Michail Dontas-Chrysis (ORCiD),  Hellenic Open University, Greece & Dimitrios Paschalidis (ORCiD), Region of South Aegean, Greece
Published online: 30 May 2020, JTHSM, 6(2), pp.3-11.

URN: urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-67910-4, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3822065


Purpose: Adopting the service-ecosystem perspective, this is the first empirical study conceptualising tourism as an ecosystem. Based on the institutional theory and focusing on high-value hospitality services, it aims to unveil the components of the multilayer tourism ecosystem that enable stakeholders’ interactions at and between different levels.

Methods: Applying a qualitative research design in Rhodes, the study focuses on value co-creation to explore the structure of the tourism ecosystem and its underlying mechanisms. Triangulation and bracketing were employed to ensure the reliability of the data collected through ten semi-structured interviews with high-ranking tourism policy-makers and hotel/restaurant managers.

Results:  The results led to the identification of the three-level service ecosystem (micro, meso, macro) that incorporates myriads of actions and interactions shaping tourism activity in order to provide high-value hospitality services. The analysis also revealed the institutional logic that permeates all levels (rules, norms, practices, meanings and symbols).

Implications: The study goes beyond the destination-visitor and firm-guest interactions to incorporate multiple stakeholders co-creating value in the tourism ecosystem, including tourists, locals and employees, hotels and restaurants, DMOs and other organisations supporting the tourism value chain. It sheds light on the new paradigm shift from the notion of tourism industry to the concept of an inclusive tourism ecosystem, paving the way for future research to address global challenges in the COVID-19 era.

Keywords: tourism marketing, hospitality services, institutional theory, service ecosystem, value co-creation

JEL Classification: L83, L8, Q57

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Active sport tourists: Millennials vs baby boomers

Ruth IJspeert (ORCiD), Ramon Llull University, Spain, Gilda Hernandez-Maskivker (ORCiD), Ramon Llull University, Spain
Published online: 30 May 2020, JTHSM, 6(2), pp.12-20.

URN: urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-67857-6, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3835813


Purpose: Active sport tourism is one of the fastest rising leisure segments. Considering the extensive growth of both the millennial and baby boomers generation in this sector, there are large-scale economic potentials for tourism practitioners. The aim of this study is to explore the characterics of baby boomers and millennial active sport tourists and to differentiate them by relevant factors.

Methods: Applying a qualitative research design numerical data is collected by using online surveys about the characteristics, needs and motivations of baby boomer and millennial active sport tourists.

Results: Significant differences were found between the groups regarding social-economic characteristics (gender, education level, marital status and income) and motivations. For millennials, ‘Escaping from daily routine’’, ‘Thrill & sensation’, ‘Overcoming challenges’ and ‘Adrenalin’ appeared as relevant motivations. For baby boomers, ‘Health’ highlights as a principal motivation. Recommendations for professionals in the sector are suggested.

Implications: Current study was considered to be important due to an extensive growth seen for both the millennial and baby boomers generation in the active sport tourism market and considering the fact that limited understanding of the characteristics, needs and motives was contradicting this enormous growth in the market. Differences were found between the millennial and the baby boomer active sport tourists.

Keywords: sport tourism, millennials, baby boomers, consumer behavior, leisure tourism

JEL Classification: L83, L8, Z20

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Of routes and corridors: Challenges and opportunities for Silk Road destinations in the southern Caucasus

Arne Schuhbert (ORCiD), Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany, Hannes Thees (ORCiD), Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany
Published online: 30 May 2020, JTHSM, 6(2), pp.21-29.

URN: urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-67859-2, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3835829


Purpose: Under the title of Belt-and-Road-Initiative (BRI), China has launched a global development program, which spans many regions and sectors. Tourism initiatives in particular, can occupy an interlinking position between infrastructure and services, and between global and local projects. This paper addresses the problem of the global-local link by critically examining a case at the southern Caucasus, as tourism is considered as a key industry for economic diversification in all three countries examined.

Methods: Based on a mixed qualitative and quantitative approach, the study is about critically investigating the current state of challenges and opportunities for tourism-induced, integrated regional development, with particular focus on potential obstacles for regional and national destination competitiveness.

Results: Results reveal that the BRI offers a basis for export-diversification in tourism and non-tourism economic sectors. Azerbaijan has the potential to integrate BRI activities into its local economic system but depends highly on the development of the Trans-Eurasian Corridor and the readiness of local entrepreneurs and institutions to support and extend development initiatives.

Implications: The implementation of the BRI offers a significant opportunity for many rural regions to proactively benefit from increasing tourism demand, by linking local initiatives and industries with tourism-related projects embedded in the BRI.

Keywords: destination management, competitiveness, belt-and-road-initiative, new silk road, Azerbaijan

JEL Classification: L80, M10, Z33

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Generating reliable tourist accommodation statistics: Bootstrapping regression model for overdispersed long-tailed data

Nguyen Van Truong (ORCiD), University of Transport and Communication, Vietnam & Japan Transport and Tourism Research Institute, Japan, Tetsuo Shimizu (ORCiD), Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan, Takeshi Kurihara (ORCiD), Toyo University, Japan, Sunkyung Choi (ORCiD), Tokyo Institute of Technology & Japan Transport and Tourism Research Institute, Japan
Published online: 30 May 2020, JTHSM, 6(2), pp.30-37.

URN: urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-67905-4, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3837608


Purpose: Few studies have applied count data analysis to tourist accommodation data. This study was undertaken to investigate the characteristics and to seek for the most fitting models for population total estimation in relation to tourist accommodation data.

Methods: Based on the data of 10,503 hotels, obtained from by a nationwide Japanese survey, the bootstrap resampling method was applied for re-randomisation of the data. Training and test sets were derived by randomly splitting each of the bootstrap samples. Six count models were fitted to the training set and validated with the test set. Bootstrap distributions for parameters of significance were used for model evaluation.

Results: The outcome variable (number of guests), was found to be heterogenous, over dispersed and long-tailed, with excessive zero counts. The hurdle negative binomial and zero-inflated negative binomial models outperformed the other models. The accuracy (se) of the estimation of total guests with training sets that ranged from 5% to 85%, was from 3.7 to 0.4 respectively. Results appear little overestimated.

Implications: Findings indicated that the integration of the bootstrap resampling method and count regression provide a statistical tool for generating reliable tourist accommodation statistics. The use of bootstrap would help to detect and correct the bias of the estimation.

Keywords: tourism statistics, bootstrap, count regression, heterogeneity, over dispersed data, zero-inflated data  

JEL Classification: C4, L8, C24, Z3

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Social media for cultural communication: A critical investigation of museums’ Instagram practices

Dimitrios Amanatidis (ORCiD), University of Western Macedonia, Greece, Ifigeneia Mylona (ORCiD), International Hellenic University, Greece, Spyridon Mamalis (ORCiD), International Hellenic University & Irene (Eirini) Kamenidou (ORCiD),  International Hellenic University
Published online: 30 May 2020, JTHSM, 6(2), pp.38-44.

URN: urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-67906-9, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3836638


Purpose: The purpose of the study is to investigate the use of Instagram by museums in the Greek cultural scene. Specifically, the study focuses on examining the use of Instagram by museum communication professionals and aims at carrying out a twofold investigation: Firstly, if and how the Instagram is used to reach out to their visitors and secondly, the public response to this type of communication.

Methods: A list of all archaeological museums in Greece was obtained and related Instagram accounts were retrieved. The dataset structure was enhanced by eleven variables, which were measured and visualized by a descriptive statistics analysis. Inter-variable correlations, normality and equality tests were also performed. Moreover, a linear predictive model for the number of museum tags was investigated.

Results: Only one museum in Greece maintains an Instagram account. Visitors usually tag museum exhibits or people and exhibits on the photographs they upload on their personal accounts. T-tests and Mann-Whitney U tests revealed equal distributions for all variables between central and peripheral museums.

Implications:Museum officials have not seized the opportunity offered by social media and especially Instagram today. Their importance seems to be underestimated. With respect to the linear model derived, results suggest that more features should be surveyed; this could be the subject of future research studies.

Keywords: social media, communication, digital marketing, Instagram, multiple regression

JEL Classification: N7, L82, D83

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Tourism development through landscape theming: Exploring Art Nouveau experiences in Brussels

Kaat De Ridder (ORCiD), Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, Belgium & Dominique Vanneste (ORCiD), University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium
Published online: 30 May 2020, JTHSM, 6(2), pp.45-54.

URN: urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-67911-9, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3841187


Purpose: This study aims to present and explore the landscape approach as an innovative management model for heritage tourism, applied to the case of the Brussels Art Nouveau heritage. The main objective of this paper is to gain insight in discrepancies regarding visions on the tourism potential of the Brussels’ Art Nouveau and the Art Nouveau patrimony’s integration within a (themed) tourism landscape.

Methods: The research used an appropriate methodological approach for each of the stakeholder groups. The survey among visitors (N=105) was organized in the heart of Brussels and analyzed with statistical techniques (cross tabling and associations). Interviews (5) were conducted with key informants (policymakers, heritage managers and the Brussels DMO), after which content analysis was applied to the transcripts.

Results: The research resulted in an innovative perspective to increase common ground between a landscape centered perspective with a focus on heritage and a tourismscape centered approach. The research deduced several hidden mismatches in perception and appreciation of the Art Nouveau and showed that there are major information and promotion problems, fostered by politically influenced fragmentation and lack of collaboration.

Implications: By gaining insight in the visitor experience of a tourism product’s potential, valuable knowledge is created for DMO’s. The implementation of a themed landscape approach has the dual potential to increase the consistency of the heritage while developing a higher level of tourist experience.

Keywords: Art Nouveau, Brussels, landscape, theming, heritage tourism, tourism destination

JEL Classification: L82, Z33

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Escape rooms as tourist attractions: Enhancing visitors’ experience through new technologies

Alexander Pakhalov (ORCiD), Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia & Natalia Rozhkova (ORCiD), Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia
Published online: 30 May 2020, JTHSM, 6(2), pp.55-60.

URN: urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-67907-4, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3841245


Purpose: This paper aims to assess the impact of new technologies on escape room visitors’ experience based on the analysis of online reviews. Over the last five years, real-life escape rooms have become popular tourist attractions in many European cities. Growing competition stimulates the escape room providers to search for new experience design strategies. One of the new strategies assumes the active use of new technologies, including special effects and virtual reality technologies opting.

Methods: The present study is based on the evidence from Claustrophobia, one of the leading European technologically advanced escape room providers. The empirical part of the study includes a semi-structured interview with the company’s co-founder and an analysis of 746 visitors’ reviews posted on TripAdvisor.

Results: The results show that technologically sophisticated escape rooms create a more authentic tourist experience with a deeper immersion in the escape room theme. At the same time, technical failures and bugs can reduce visitors’ satisfaction.

Implications: These results suggest that high-tech escape rooms could become more attractive tourist attractions only if their owners can invest substantial funds in maintaining the technical level and staff training. High-tech escape room providers need to maintain high expenditures for technical support and staff training in order to build a sustainable positive visitors’ experience.

Keywords: escape room, tourist experience, experience design, content analysis

JEL Classification: L82, M31, Z33

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Tourism and Resilience

Maximiliano E. Korstanje (ORCiD), University of Palermo, Argentina
Published online: 30 May 2020, JTHSM, 6(2), pp.61-62.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3841246

Review of: Butler, R. (Ed.), 2017, Tourism and Resilience. Wallingford: CAB International. ISBN: 978-1780648330

A critical review of the book titled “Tourism and Resilience” and edited by Richard Butler. Based on this review, this book should be seen a compilation of high-quality chapters, written by well-distinguished scholars who are worried on the future of tourism in the next years. It introduces a multicultural approach, based on the origin of authors, each one intellectually dotted with a different perspective or national-character, but what is more important, Butler presents an organized volume with practical study-cases which are pertinently accompanied by some critical lens of the problem.

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