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The Tourism Intermediation System: The Relationship between Travel Agencies and Tour Operators


  • Tonino Pencarelli

    (Carlo Bo University of Urbino, Italy)

  • Mauro Dini

    (Carlo Bo University of Urbino, Italy)


The study aims to investigate the characteristics of the relationships between travel agencies (TA) and tour operators (TO). Through an empirical analysis, we highlight the weight, the number, and the duration of the relationships that are created in the Italian tourism intermediation system. An empirical research was conducted on a sample of Italian travel agencies (202, covering all of the regions in Italy). Results show that, although the products supplied by TOs are fundamental to the realization of TA turnover, in most cases channel relationships are of short duration and highly variable. This could mean that vertical channel relationships do not sufficiently exploit areas of potential cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Tonino Pencarelli & Mauro Dini, 2016. "The Tourism Intermediation System: The Relationship between Travel Agencies and Tour Operators," The International Journal of Economic Behavior - IJEB, Faculty of Business and Administration, University of Bucharest, vol. 6(1), pages 97-112.
  • Handle: RePEc:but:ijebfa:v:6:y:2016:i:1:p:97-112

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Berne, Carmen & Garcia-Gonzalez, Margarita & Mugica, Jose, 2012. "How ICT shifts the power balance of tourism distribution channels," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 205-214.
    2. Abou-Shouk, Mohamed A. & Lim, Wai Mun & Megicks, Phil, 2016. "Using competing models to evaluate the role of environmental pressures in ecommerce adoption by small and medium sized travel agents in a developing country," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 327-339.
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    Cited by:

    1. Temperini, Valerio & Gregori, Gian Luca & Pizzichini, Lucia, 2019. "E-learning as a marketing tool for Tour Operators. The ‘Go Academy’ case study," MPRA Paper 94075, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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