Cooperative resorts: An analysis of creative integration strategies in community destinations
Highly Commended Paper Award by The Journal of Destination Marketing & Management (JDMM)
Hotel resorts may be understood as stand-alone, large-scale tourist operations. Hotel resort development provides a sometimes criticised but repeatedly followed path towards efficient and effective tourism operations. However, a strong regimentation of quantitative hotel growth complicated such hotel resort development in the region of South Tyrol, Italy, and has prompted some hotel businesses to build alternative strategic alliances. These alliances can be regarded as ‘cooperative resorts’ and characteristically include the integration of spatially divided and legally autonomous hotels within community destinations. The aim of this paper is to explore the nature of these observed cooperative resorts, to trace historical origins and reasons for their appearance and to investigate their impact on broader community destination networks. Based on a series of qualitative interviews, the paper finds that in contrast to enclave-type hotel resort models, cooperative resorts have a reduced tendency to segregate themselves from the respective destination networks, but rather affect their balance of power and impact on destination leadership.