An investigation of resort business sustainability: a comparative study of Scottish and Swiss ski resorts
Zorina, D. (2016) An investigation of resort business sustainability: a comparative study of Scottish and Swiss ski resorts, no. 324.
As the tourism industry faces economic, social, political and other challenges, there is a need to develop adaptation strategies to reinforce business sustainability of organisations. Ski resort destinations have been chosen to determine and analyse factors as actual and potential barriers to maintain a sustainable business practice. The academic debate revealed a number of gaps, critical issues for the ski industry to be addressed. Concurrently, a lack of an empirical data requires research in order to develop a set of sustainability determinants for generic ski resort use. In line with that, the mixed methodological approach aims to investigate comprehensively factors of business sustainability and sustainability determinants and incorporates two research methods: the qualitative and the quantitative research techniques. The qualitative methodological stance allows arranging a qualitative research and, therefore, conducting interviews among the chosen Scottish and Swiss ski resorts for the purpose of a comparative analysis. The quantitative methodological stance assists to use a series of the Delphi Survey rounds and permits to engage the experts from the industry, selected carefully based on the objective criteria. The findings became a basis for novel concept “internal business sustainability” in relation to ski resorts. The collected data allowed providing recommendations for government, ski resorts generally, ski resorts in Switzerland, ski resorts in Scotland, VisitScotland and Graubünden Tourism. The Delphi study contributed significantly to the field of knowledge and a new framework was developed for a future selection of a model of sustainability indicators for generic ski resort use. The developed framework consists of a set of sustainability determinants in the form of the adaptation strategies with regard to the changing environment, changing in government policies about sustainability, changing in economic climate, changing in socio-cultural environment and changing in technology. All of the elements of the new framework were examined, evaluated and filtered during three consecutive rounds of the Delphi and reached consensus, which show their validity.