Academic journal article Business and Economics Research Journal

Competitive Importance Performance Analysis (CIPA): An Illustration from Thermal Tourism Destinations *

Academic journal article Business and Economics Research Journal

Competitive Importance Performance Analysis (CIPA): An Illustration from Thermal Tourism Destinations *

Article excerpt

Abstract: This paper introduces a syntheses of traditional Importance-Performance Analysis and Analytical Hierarchy Process under the name of Competitive Importance-Performance Analysis (CIPA), to empower managers to make better decisions in creating competitive advantage. A questionnaire of a Turkish thermal tourism destination is utilized to illustrate the execution of the proposed approach. The results of the current case study illustrate the practicability and supplementary insights of specifying the priorities of attributes through the proposed approach for gaining competitive advantage. The results suggested that, from the expert's perspective, plentiful natural hot springs, sound local transportation network, availability of sufficient accommodation, hygiene standards for hot springs spa equipment, public interest in health-leisure activities are important factors shaping the competitiveness of thermal tourism destinations. Therefore, thermal tourism destinations in Turkey might focus more on these attributes to gain competitive advantage. Moreover, increase in visitors seeking for health-oriented leisure time is increasing and hence the future of Turkish thermal tourism seems encouraging. Hence, the adapted undertakings will be required by augmenting the core thermal tourism product to reach the competitors.

Keywords: Competitiveness, thermal tourism, competitive importance-performance analysis.

JEL Classification: L83, L52, D70

1. Introduction

Organizational decision makers are constantly surrounded by the pressure of ever-changing conditions that possibly could affect the stream of the current or future directions of their organizations. This is highly relevant for tourism industry and tourism destinations that are surrounded by mostly abstract and a fragile environment. A good track of global changes and their effects on the destination is so critical for all stakeholders in the destinations. For destinations to sustain their growth and vitality, the key determinants of market competitiveness should be treated with a global vision (Hassan, 2000). This reality is not exception for Kozakli, a thermal tourism destination in Turkey, which is in a fast development phase with the growing accommodation investments. For Kozakli to maneuver the important ingredients in gaining competitive advantage and to control its development process in a sustainable competitiveness manner, it is important for him to be conscious of competitiveness factors' relative weights especially within its competitive environment. Thermal tourism is an alternative tourism industry with a serious income potential especially for Turkey that gets stuck in 3s tourism but rich in spa resources. The worldwide spa industry is worth of $40 billion and has grown at a outstanding rate in the past ten years (Haden, 2007). After the recent agreements and co-operations with European Insurance companies from Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, and Holland to send their patients to Turkey and cover their health expenditures, the expected number of visitors for health tourism has increased up to 1.000.000 people/year for the future (Aydin 2005).

With the potential to gain competitive advantage when making important decisions relating to competitiveness, it is vital to integrate decision support systems that enable decision makers to read into complex business environment and to build the strategies upon the reflections. Importance and performance analysis (IPA) is one of the widely known decision tool used by many researchers for determining the critical factors in the related topics and measurements especially in destination competitiveness analysis (Dwyer; Cvelbar; Edwards and Mihalic, 2012; Frauman and Banks, 2011; Ziegler, Dearden and Rollins, 2010; Lee and Lee, 2009; Tonge and Moore, 2007; Fallon and Schofield, 2006; O'Leary and Deegan, 2005; Enright and Newton, 2004; Oh, 2001; Chu and Choi, 2000). The wide acceptance of this framework in the tourism studies is that the IPA provides significant benefits in the analysis of destination competitiveness by specifying improvement opportunities as well as to guide strategic planning efforts (Dwyer et al. …

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