Aggravated fragmentation: A case study of SME behaviour in two emerging heritage tourism regions

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Abstract

This paper investigates the behaviour of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) within the heritage tourism supply chain (HTSC), in two emerging heritage regions. SMEs are conceptualised as implementers, working within the constraints of government level tourism structures and the heritage tourism supply chain. The research employs a case study approach, focusing on two emerging regions in Northern Ireland. In-depth interviews were carried out with small business owners and community associations operating within the regions. The research identifies SME dissatisfaction with the supply chain and the processes in place for the delivery of the tourism product. To overcome the perceived inadequacies of the heritage tourism supply chain SMEs engage in entrepreneurial behaviour by attempting to deliver specific products and services to meet the need of tourists. The challenge for tourism organisations is how they can integrate the entrepreneurial, innovative activities of SMEs into the heritage tourism system.

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McCamley, C., & Gilmore, A. (2017). Aggravated fragmentation: A case study of SME behaviour in two emerging heritage tourism regions. Tourism Management, 60, 81–91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2016.11.016

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