Friend or foe: Challenges to collaboration success at different lifecycle stages for regional small tourism firms in Australia

R. Perkins, C. Khoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Small tourism businesses are essential to Australia’s economy and development, particularly in regional and rural areas, where a majority of these firms are located. It is important to understand the operation of regional small tourism business, to create strategies for their sustained success into the future. This research paper explores collaboration as an operation of small tourism businesses, by understanding the extent to which small tourism firms face challenges in collaborating at different stages of their business life cycle, and how these challenges to collaboration can be overcome. Collaboration is the selected concept examined within this study as it exposes businesses to shared knowledge, resources, marketing, and capabilities, which these businesses alone would not typically possess. To understand this further, reponses about collaborative behavior were gathered from 24 small tourism operators/managers from The Granite Belt region in South-East Queensland, Australia. Tourism operators recognized several hindrances to successful collaboration: (1) a limited understanding of what collaboration is and how it can be enacted, (2) the informal nature of current collaborations, (3) unbalanced efforts from stakeholders within the collaborations, (4) competition between stakeholders, (5) differing opinions of collaborating businesses, and (6) perceived failure or misdirected leadership from local governing bodies. Using these challenges, a framework was developed that makes recommendations to tourism scholars, organizations, operators, and local councils on how to overcome these hindrances by improving communication, formalizing selected collaborative efforts, and reporting on collaborations. © The Author(s) 2019.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTourism and Hospitality Research
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • challenges
  • collaboration
  • regional tourism
  • small business life cycle
  • Small tourism firms


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