Journal article Open Access
The aim of the paper is to study the factors influencing the development of networked collaboration between small and medium-sized businesses in the Italian tourist industry. These businesses are obliged to choose networking when faced with difficulties of growth and the need to improve their offer for increasingly discerning customers. The paper aims to add to the recent studies on the management and governance of small and medium-sized tourism businesses, and to pinpoint new development processes to deal with the notable difficulties that the sector is subjected to. A survey was carried out by administering a questionnaire to a sample of Italian travel agencies and tour operators, specialising in incoming and outgoing activities. The sample consisted of 2,200 enterprises (or 70% of the total operating in Italy) and was addressed only to small or medium-sized businesses (with less than 250 employees and a turnover less than 40 million euros a year). The narrowness of the sample analysed constitutes a limit to the work, and eventual future studies should try to analyse all tourism companies with a view to discovering new business opportunities, relieve critical situations and above all, call attention to appropriate issues of governance.