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Small business networking and tourism destination development: a comparative perspective

Tinsley, R. and Lynch, P.A. (2007) Small business networking and tourism destination development: a comparative perspective. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 8 (1). pp. 15-27. ISSN 1465-7503

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This paper compares two localities of marked social, cultural and economic difference in relation to small tourism business networking and formalization of tourism destination development. The methodological process involves in-depth interviews, supplemented by participant observation. Template development and network-depth analysis are used to interpret the findings. Through 'thick' description and analysis of social, communication and exchange networking behaviours, an original cultural understanding of the community embeddedness of informal small business networking behaviours is provided in the context of a developed and a developing country. The study finds that the destination with a more formalized tourism development is less reliant on horizontal networking. This results in a less directly significant contribution to destination development. However, destination size, social network density and cultural differences are also key issues in relation to networking contributions.