Overcoming the Limits to Change and Adapting to Future Challenges: Governing the Transformation of Destination Networks in Western Australia
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This article presents a study that investigates the organizational transformation of regional tourism in Western Australia in order to make it fit for future. In principle, it explores how the past influences adaptation to upcoming challenges in the Asia-Pacific region (and beyond), such as for example reorganizing territorial dimensions in destination management. Specifically, the article considers how an imposed merger of two previously separate tourism regions affects the established communication and collaboration structures among stakeholders. To analyze the inhibiting force of historically grown destination network structures and the potential for changing these networks, the article combines the concepts of path dependence/path creation and stasis-based/change-based momentum with a quantitative social network analysis. The study provides evidence of remarkable persistence of destination networks. However, the study exhibits also path-creating processes: A transformation of destination networks to meet future challenges in tourism seems to depend largely on an effective governance of informal communication.
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