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Marco Valeri
Leslie Fadlon


Co-evolution, entrepreneurship, sustainable development, destination governance and destination management, network, competitive advantage


The purpose of this paper is to verify whether the nature of the relationship between a tourist destination and tourist enterprises operating within its territory, can be defined as co-evolutionary. This paper derives from the continuation of previous researches of ours about the topic of destination management and destination governance. The theoretical background of this paper is based on the following research question: within the framework of the international tourist scenario, are there tourist hospitality models designed as a prototype of co-evolution between the tourist destination and its territory? In the tourist context, which has lately become more complex, enterprises have to interact more and more with tourists, both national and from abroad, who pay more attention to the quality of the spare time they dedicate to tourism and to the discovery of the genuineness of the territory they are visiting. The need to fulfil the most diverse tourists’ requests has promoted the development and the success of specific sustainable business solutions that are consistent with the evolution of their needs. For this reason, in order to intercept and manage the emerging dynamics in the tourist sector, it is necessary to start from the analysis of the issues related to the management and governance of tourist destinations and tourist enterprises. In our paper, the analysis perspective which is considered the most appropriate to qualify the nature of the relationship among a given tourist destination and its tourist enterprises is the co-evolutionary perspective. According to such perspective, tourist enterprises co-evolve together with tourist destinations, while looking for long-term competitive advantages: tourist enterprises are considered critical resources to the development of the territory and vice versa. The co-evolutionary process implies the identification of a governance body able to exploit and enhance the systemic resources made available by the territory and to inspire the management approach of the different tourist enterprises. The absence of specific case studies represents a limit of the present paper. Hence, with a view to a subsequent future research, we will continue the proposed analysis by enriching it with empirical evidence, which will be useful to foster the debate on the subject matter and for the related entrepreneurial and management implications.

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