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Special issue on "Destination leadership"

Call for papers for a special issue of “Tourism Review” on

“Destination leadership”

Guest editors:
Prof. Dr. Harald Pechlaner
Chair in Tourism, Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany;
European Academy of Bozen-Bolzano (EURAC research), Italy

Prof. Dr. Metin Kozak
School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Mugla University, Turkey

Mag. Michael Volgger
Institute for Regional Development and Location Management, European Academy of Bozen-Bolzano (EURAC research), Italy

For more than a decade, scholarly discussions on tourist destinations have predominantly focused on their management and, more recently, on their governance. Both approaches contributed to a better understanding of structures and processes that allow to coordinate, plan and market tourist destinations in an effective and efficient way. However, it becomes increasingly clear that the achievement of these objectives does not only depend on structures, institutions and processes. For instance, the inclusion of leading entrepreneurs at a destination level is a pressing issue. The human factor remains crucial – yet it has been insufficiently considered so far (Pechlaner and Volgger, 2012). A rare exception is provided by the inclusion of the leadership dimension into the adapted EFQM-model for quality management in destinations (Kozak, 2004).

Understanding who is able and who is willing to lead destinations may help to explain differences between more and less competitive destinations especially in times of economic turbulence. Actors’ traits, power, leadership styles and adaptability as well as a destination’s framework conditions seem to be influential in this regard. Robbins (2000, p. 347) defined leadership as “the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of goals”. Such a definition implies leadership to be a perspective that intersects psychological dimensions with group dynamics and social aspects of human agency. Thus, the concept of leadership is suitable to restore importance to the human element within the socio-economic context of destinations. Topics such as power and influence, motivation and communication as well as ethical considerations lie at the heart of the agenda.

Research in hospitality has a considerable tradition of investigating leadership issues. Hospitality researchers applied a number of theories (most notably leader-member exchange theory and the transformational leadership approach) to a variety of subjects such as leadership and gender, cross-cultural leadership, ethical aspects in leadership, leadership of touring groups etc. They also investigated “the influence of leadership” on the performance of hospitality
businesses (Avci, Madanoglu and Okumus, 2011). However, discussions on leadership have usually been limited to firms and have not yet fully embraced the network and destination level. Network leadership among actors of destination development implies particular challenges of leading, organizing and communicating towards the single actors and the destination network as a whole.

On this basis, we invite you to contribute to this special issue by submitting papers associated with original research, comprehensive reviews, theory development, future trends and case studies focusing on aspects of leadership in tourist destinations.

Relevant topics to include in this special issue are:

- Destination competitiveness and leadership: leadership skills and styles associated with successful destinations
- Social, political and psychological determinants of leadership in tourist destinations
- Increasing the attractiveness for private business leaders to participate in the management of destinations
- Relationship between leadership and the cultural, institutional as well as regulatory specificities of tourist destinations
- Differences between leadership in private tourism firms and leadership in the context of collective actors
- Relationship between forms of destination governance and leadership styles/skills
- Relationship between destination strategy and destination leadership
- Relationship between community leadership and destination leadership: concentration vs. distribution
- Leadership and power
- Possibilities of guest-oriented leadership
- Network leadership: actor-oriented approaches in social network analysis
- Group behavior, group dynamics and team work in tourist destinations
- Entrepreneurship and leadership for innovation in tourist destinations
- Leadership that promotes cooperation and participation of destination stakeholders
- DMO board recruitment and nomination
- Sustainable and/or ethical leadership of tourist destinations
- Other related topics

Avci, U., Madanoglu, M. and Okumus, F. (2011), “Strategic orientation and performance of tourism firms: Evidence from a developing country”, Tourism Management, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 147-157.

Kozak, M. (2004), Destination benchmarking: Concepts, practices and operations, CABI Publishing, Oxon.

Pechlaner, H. and Volgger, M. (2012), “How to promote cooperation in the hospitality industry: Generating practitioner-relevant knowledge using the GABEK qualitative research strategy”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 24, No. 6, pp. 925-945.

Robbins, S. (2000), Organizational behavior: Concepts-controversies-applications (8th edition), Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs.

Tentative key deadlines:
Submission of abstracts: January 30, 2013
Submission of full papers: June 15, 2013
Submission of revised papers: October 31, 2013
Publication: Early 2014


• Submit your abstracts (up to 500 words) to one of the guest editors (Harald Pechlaner, [email protected], Metin Kozak, [email protected], or Michael Volgger, [email protected]).
• Upon acceptance of your abstract by the guest editors, full papers should be submitted online using ScholarOne’s Manuscript Central. Registration and access is available at:
• Author guidelines for Tourism Review can be found at:
• Based on the recommendations of at least two referees in a double blind peer review process, the guest editors will decide whether the paper will be accepted (with or without revision) or rejected.
• The special issue will be published in early 2014.

Should you have any questions or comments regarding this special issue, please contact one of the guest editors.