Journal article Open Access

What makes scuba diving operations successful: The case of Portofino, Italy

Du Plessis, Engelina; Saayman, Melville

  1. The coastline of Portofino, Italy, a famous destination for the rich and famous, attracts thousands of visitors each year. Tourism product owners constitute a significant component of the competitive environment in this area in order to claim a piece of the tourism pie. For the local dive operators, the situation tends to be even more difficult when dealing with strict regulations concerning the marine protected area and a specific market. The identification of critical success factors could offer some insight into the management of these operations. In order to accomplish this, a qualitative research approach was followed by interviewing eight dive operators in the area of Portofino. It was clear that the critical success factor to manage a dive operation was unique to this area and differs from other tourism products by adopting a unique customer relations approach, an emphasis on safety, and the focus on providing a signature product. These results could assist managers of dive operations in identifying new opportunities in terms of management and sought out threats to the business.

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in European Journal of Tourism research on 12/12/2016. The final authenticated version is available online at: This paper has received funding from the European Union (EU)'s H2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 643712 to the project Green Bubbles RISE for sustainable diving (Green Bubbles). This paper reflects only the views of the authors. The Research Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains. The researchers would like to acknowledge the support of the dive centres who collaborated, and all the people who helped with this survey.
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