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    Tourism Distribution Channels in European Island Destinations

    tom dieck, MC, Fountoulaki, P and Jung, TH (2018) Tourism Distribution Channels in European Island Destinations. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 30 (1). pp. 326-342. ISSN 0959-6119

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    Purpose Advances in information communication technologies (ICTs) have changed the tourism distribution channels model as traditional players continue to disappear or change their business model as new players and channels emerge due to technological developments. Therefore, the present study aims to propose a tourism distribution channels model for European Island destinations. Design/methodology/approach Using an exploratory approach, interviews with 34 tourism stakeholders were conducted at ITB Berlin and WTM London in March 2014 and March/November 2016, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Findings The findings revealed that a number of changes have taken place within the distribution channels market over the past six years. The disappearance of incoming travel agents has increased, while new forms of online communication and distribution have appeared. In particular, social media, online review sites, and mobile channels play an increasingly important role for hoteliers. Practical implications ICTs change the online landscape for tourist distribution in Island destinations and practitioners should make use of new online channels and be aware of disappearing tourism players to remain competitive. Originality/value First, this paper provides indications for the increased disintermediation in regard to incoming travel agents within the Cretan hospitality and tourism industry. Second, it investigates the issue of tourism distribution channels using a broad range of key tourism and hospitality players in order to provide a tourism distribution channels model for future reference. Finally, this study offers implications for the development of distribution strategies for tourism businesses and hoteliers in Crete.

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