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2024 | Book

Sustainable Approaches and Business Challenges in Times of Crisis

3rd International Conference on Modern Trends in Business, Hospitality and Tourism, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, May 4-6, 2023

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About this book

This book discusses current trends, challenges, and opportunities in the fields of business, hospitality, and tourism, particularly in Eastern Europe. Featuring selected papers presented at the second annual Modern Trends in Business Hospitality and Tourism International Conference held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania in 2023, the enclosed chapters explore the global marketing environment discussing the latest technological, economic and social-cultural developments. Featuring theoretical and empirical research and real-life case studies, this book explores topics such as global capital markets and investment financing post COVID-19, sustainable business models, financing alternatives for SMEs, corporate governance, human capital leadership, among others. It is appropriate for academics, researchers, scholars and practitioners in the areas of business, hospitality and tourism.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter
Chapter 1. Exploring Research Trends in Sustainable Business Models: A Bibliometric Analysis
Abstract
The topic of sustainable business-models (SBMs) has attracted significant interest among both academics and practitioners in recent years. A systemic approach to business-models (BMs) is now deemed necessary to address the challenges related to sustainability and acknowledge the interconnectedness of organizations with the environment and society as a whole. The paper identifies, presents and analyses (1) the scientific production across time; (2) the most influential and productive contributors (authors, organizations and countries) and their collaborative research activities; (3) the most frequently used keywords, their links and total link strength with other concepts in the network map; and (4) the key trends in the researched field. The paper employs a bibliometric analysis on SBMs based on a research sample of 987 publications in English, collected from the Web of Science database. The data spanning from 2001 to 2023 was exported, processed, analysed and visualized using VOSviewer, Excel and RStudio Bibliometrix/Biblioshiny software tools. A co-occurrence analysis was conducted to explore thematic evolution and identify current trends that are at the forefront of the field. In terms of the study’s findings, 19 authors were identified as having published more than 5 documents on the topic of interest, and their relative influence was established. Furthermore, the paper presents the most influential countries based on document count, citations and link strength. The 122 keywords that met the threshold of 10 occurrences were analysed across five emerging clusters. Given the current challenges and opportunities presented by Industry 4.0 technologies in the context of digital transformation, the push towards sustainability, coupled with the disruptive effects brought forth by the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a need for novel approaches in designing and implementing SBMs. These should be based on innovation and prioritize the interests of a multiple stakeholders, encompassing the environment and society.
Andra-Teodora Gorski, Dănuț Dumitru Dumitrașcu
Chapter 2. An Integrated Analysis of Sustainable Tourism in Sicily (Italy)
Abstract
Sustainable development is the driving force for social, ecological, economic, and durable development, as prescribed by the UN Agenda 2030 to spur economic growth and tackle climate change. Similarly, sustainable tourism requires an integrated approach in the surrounding area; local policies have a crucial role in planning and managing the tourist destination in several aspects. The lack of those policies may leave the management of touristification to private businesses, causing progressive deterioration of the assets such as environmental impact; for instance, it could overload the carrying capacity.
Italy has the highest number of UNESCO acknowledgments in the world. Thanks to the brand UNESCO contains, the prominent acknowledgment can attract more tourists than heritage would do without the acknowledgment. On the other hand, to guarantee the durability of the heritage without compromising the sites, UNESCO requires adopting a management plan for the sustainable development of the local area. Policymakers, citizens, and private businesses should consider the management plan for a stable economy and society structured in a healthy environment. Still, the implementation of those politics and tourism management is limited.
This work aims to explore the pathway for sustainable development in Sicily (Italy) by analyzing the weakness and strengths of local policy adopted in the theoretical framework of sustainability and will explore the state of the art of sustainable tourism implemented to identify further steps toward Sicily’s transformation.
The considerable offer of the cultural attractions and natural beauty of Sicily embodies a vital development potential that would offer an opportunity for sustainable development in terms of jobs in hospitality and its spin-off by reducing the unemployment rate. But the multiple heritage with the brand UNESCO and the other heritage occurred in Sicily would not allow alone adequate progress of the region; it is necessary to have the adoption of a common and integrated strategy for policymakers regarding (a) education and training strategy to have high-qualified workers, (b) the development infrastructure and sharing mobility, (c) service and facility for vulnerable visitors such as disabled or elderly people, (d) reinforcement of the local economy, local food, and traditional handcraft.
This research contributes to defining how to implement sustainable development at the territorial or regional level following an integrated and strategic policy, supporting strategy of growth, overcoming single and restricted development policies that appear to be blaze for economies and communities. The SDGs of the UN Agenda 2030 represent a milestone for sustainable tourism by enforcing environmental and cultural heritage.
Mariaclaudia Cusumano
Chapter 3. Sustainability Innovation in Tourism: A Systematic Literature Review
Abstract
Sustainability innovation has been discussed as an approach to tourism. The concept of innovation is still regarded as abstract or with little application, and the same is true of the concept of sustainable tourism. This systematic literature review intends to investigate the state of sustainability innovation in tourism addressing the question: “What are the potential ways to implement sustainable innovation within the tourism sector?”
The article is a systematic literature review (SLR) on sustainable innovation in tourism, in the databases Scopus, Web of Science and Science Direct, which resulted in 492 papers. By applying the PRISMA model and VOSviewer software, the study sample is narrowed to 50 papers collected from 25 journals, published between 2000 and 2022. The articles that make up the SLR comprise qualitative, quantitative and mixed studies, with the research aiming to summarise theories, ideologies, methods and practices at different levels and stages applied in different tourism contexts. This study categorises the main topics: business model, sustainable innovative strategies, innovative leadership and stakeholders’ relationship.
The outcomes demonstrate diverse strategies for implementing sustainable innovation in the field of tourism, along with recommendations for future implementation across various tourism sub-sectors. These findings underline the importance of introducing sustainable innovations that foster sustainable development through collaborative efforts among all stakeholders. By creating added value to products and services, sustainable innovation enables companies within each tourism sector and the destination as a whole to differentiate themselves. The results also highlight that perceptions of sustainable innovation differ based on the level of knowledge, acceptance and understanding of individuals involved. Furthermore, the implementation of sustainable innovation can be customised to suit different objectives and applied at various levels within different tourism sub-sectors over an extended period of time.
Daniela Meneses, Carlos Costa, Fernanda A. Ferreira, Celeste Eusébio
Chapter 4. A Roadmap for the Postpandemic Aviation Industry
Abstract
With the global economy coming to a standstill during the COVID-19 pandemic, the aviation industry has suffered as one of the main industries. Because of the quarantine and the closure of borders, many of the travellers have cancelled their flights, which made a shocking effect on airlines. The purpose of this study is to examine the roadmap of the aviation industry after COVID-19 on the basis of the reports prepared by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). While examining the economic impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic on the aviation industry through the global paid Revenue Passenger-Kilometer (RPK) flown, the incidence of COVID-19, regional improvements and income in US Dollars, ICAO made evaluations according to the number of flying passengers. The research reveals the economic and technical difficulties caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in the aviation industry through descriptive and comparative analysis from secondary sources.
Figen Gurcoskun, Gökhan Ayazlar
Chapter 5. The Mediating Effect of Destination Image on Intention to Use a Tourism App: The “Visit Saudi” App
Abstract
This study investigates the influence of tourists’ perceptions of destination image on their intention to use a tourism app. It examines the roles played by tourists’ perceptions of app/website usability, information quality and risk in shaping tourism destination image and subsequently on their app use intention. Using an online questionnaire, the study surveyed 194 international tourists in Saudi Arabia. Results were analysed using PLS-SEM. All the proposed hypotheses were supported and significant. Perceived risk had the strongest influence, followed by the influence of tourists’ perceptions of information quality and then app usability. The perceived risk was found to have a strong effect on the application use intention. Additionally, destination image mediates the influence on the use intention of the antecedents to the destination image. The study contributes to the tourism website/application literature; its implications provide practical insights and recommendations for destination marketers and managers to improve their online and social media presence in terms of enhancing e-platform usability, quality of provided information and most importantly creating a destination strategy to manage tourists’ risk perceptions.
Arej Alhemimah
Chapter 6. Contactless Tourism in the Post-COVID-19 Era: How Ready Are Greek Tourists?
Abstract
A modern trend in travel and tourism industry that arose from the development of technology and was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic is the so-called contactless or touchless tourism. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which Greeks use contactless technologies during their travels but also their willingness and readiness to make trips in the future that will be completely contactless. In order to meet this purpose, a survey was conducted via a structured self-completed questionnaire in a sample of 500 people in Greece. The study’s results revealed that while the majority of participants consider themselves to be quite tech savvy, they are not fully aware of the use of contactless technology in travel and tourism. However, most of them claim that they have made use of contactless technologies in the different phases of their trips, that is, before the trip (e.g., issuing and paying for tickets, hotel reservations, etc.), while traveling (e.g., contactless payments and check-in at the airport, means of transport, etc.), but also at the destination (e.g., hotel check-in, issuing tickets to shows and attractions, contactless payments, etc.). Greeks’ personal attitude toward contactless technology is positive, as they recognize specific advantages for its use: it is safe, reliable, and simple to use, suits their needs, improves the quality of services provided by businesses, offers personalized services, makes service faster by reducing waiting lines, and ensures greater privacy for customers. However, various concerns are expressed about a number of issues associated with contactless technologies. In any case, most participants agree that the use of contactless technology in travel and tourism is a one-way street due to rapid technological development and is accelerating due to the pandemic and the resulting need to limit human contact.
Nikolaos Trihas, Georgios Zozonakis, Markos Kourgiantakis
Chapter 7. What Can Affect the Intention to Revisit a Tourism Destination in the Post-pandemic Period? Evidence from Southeast Asia
Abstract
As tourism plays an important role in the economic development of many countries, it is essential to understand the factors that drive tourists’ attitudes and intentions to revisit a destination. Therefore, this paper aims to explore the factors that may influence revisit attitudes and intentions in the post-pandemic period. To fulfil this research objective, we used an online survey to collect data as it was a suitable and effective tool in the research context. After data cleaning, there were 431 valid responses for analysis. Cronbach’s alpha, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) were used to assess the reliability, the discriminant validity, and the convergent validity of all constructs. After checking the validity and reliability of the scale, the structural equation modeling is employed to test the hypotheses on the relationships between variables. We find that past travel experiences, healthcare systems, and crisis management positively impact people’ revisit attitude, which in turn affects their revisit intentions. Given restricted resources, our findings suggest that governments and travel companies should consider resources carefully and properly invest in the essentials when implementing policies to encourage tourism attraction.
Duong Tien Ha My, Le Thanh Tung
Chapter 8. Amendments to Public Procurement Contracts in Times of Crises
Abstract
The present study aims to analyze and explain the multilayered challenges that may occur during the performance of a public procurement contract, with specific reference to the possibilities foreseen by the legislation to modify the contract without the need to retender. It intends to contribute to the assessment of the transposition of the rules regarding public contract amendment from 2014/24 Directive in the Romanian legislation.
From the wording of the Romanian legal framework, it is clear that the intention of the national legislator was to ensure much less flexibility than the one provided by the Directive. It used again the gold plating system and made these rules mandatory also for contracts bellow the EU thresholds. With the intention of clarifying the aspects transposed from the European Directive, the legislator has not only developed a primary and secondary legislation but also continued by using tertiary regulation.
The public procurement process occurs in the context of complex interactions between policy imperatives, financing, supply market operations, complex economic environment, and stakeholder influences, and the intensive regulatory adjustments or new provisions (mainly by tertiary legislation) are not effective in addressing all apparent dysfunctions in the system.
Daniela Cîmpean
Chapter 9. New Frontiers in Tourism and Hospitality Research: An Exploration of Current Trends and Future Opportunities
Abstract
The global economy depends heavily on the tourism and hospitality industries, and research in these fields has grown and changed significantly in recent years. With an emphasis on newly opened research areas, this study intends to examine current trends and potential future directions in tourism and hospitality research. To identify significant themes and areas of research interest, the study focuses on a thorough examination of the literature, which includes both theoretical and empirical investigations. A historical review of tourism and hospitality research is given at the outset of the study, showing how it has developed from early studies of visitor behaviour to more contemporary studies on sustainability, technology and globalisation. The authors then go through the most recent developments in the industry, such as the expanding significance of experience and co-creation in tourism, the use of social media and online platforms to increase consumer interaction and the rise of new business models and forms of cooperation. Along with these current trends, the paper also identifies a number of potential areas for future research, such as the incorporation of artificial intelligence and machine learning into tourism and hospitality operations, the creation of fresh perspectives on sustainability and responsible tourism and the investigation of novel forms of tourism like space tourism and virtual reality tourism. The authors also highlight the importance of conducting more multidisciplinary research in the tourism and hospitality industries, incorporating knowledge from disciplines like psychology, sociology and anthropology. The need for ongoing innovation and teamwork in tourism and hospitality research is emphasised in the paper’s conclusion, along with the field’s ability to support larger social goals including sustainable development, cultural exchange and economic progress. Overall, this article offers a thorough assessment of recent developments in tourism and hospitality research and gives a roadmap for future studies in this dynamic and quickly developing area.
Youssef El Archi, Brahim Benbba
Chapter 10. Evolution of Demand for Portuguese Thermal Spas: An Exploratory Data Analysis of Administrative Data
Abstract
Well-being or positive health is not a new concept; However, since the mid-twentieth century, scientific institutions have addressed the issue and its implications for medicine and public health. It can be observed that wellness and healthy living are becoming more and more important in society. Consequently, there is an increased need to look for products and services that mitigate the risk of these diseases associated with modern society. Thus, a fusion between tourism and wellness emerges, with thermal spas being an essential factor in the health and wellness promotion equation. In Portugal, thermal services are well known. However, the demand for its services is subject to difficulties well observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is fundamental to characterize the Portuguese thermal market on the demand side to segment it and find the best strategy to meet the user needs. Secondly, it is relevant to understand the weight of each segment in the market. Focusing on the division between classic thermal services—considered therapeutical health services—and wellness services provided by Portuguese thermal establishments, this research aims to characterize the thermal market on the demand side. In particular, the study seeks to understand how wellness services are evolving regarding the total demand for Portuguese thermal establishments. Based on the descriptive analysis of administrative data of registers in all the Portuguese thermal establishments, it is possible to conclude that the increasing demand for thermalism products and services (both therapeutic and wellness) suffered a severe crash with the financial crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic. Age is an essential factor that distinguishes the market segment of the therapeutic thermal offer. The consumers of such a thermal component are older than the ones demanding wellness services. Finally, specific international markets (France, Spain, and the United Kingdom) become more important in the user’s segments.
Jéssica Alves, Maria José Alves, Alcina Nunes
Chapter 11. Factors Influencing the Tourists’ Length of Stay in Romanian Mountain Areas: Case Study of 4* Hotels in Poiana Brasov Resort
Abstract
Alongside the seaside resorts, mountain resorts are among the main favorite tourist destinations in Romania. The purposes for choosing a specific hotel in a mountain resort are influenced by the visit’s purpose: sports attractions, picturesque beauty, cultural heritage, or recreational tourism. The length of stay (LOS) of a visitor has great significance for any touristic location in a mountain area as highlights revenue levels collected and consumption, regardless of the intention of visit. The primary objective of the current study is to determine how the average duration of stay of visitors to Poiana Brasov Mountain resort for full-service hotels is influenced by their nationality and tourist type.
The aim of the present paper is related to three specific objectives. First, it establishes the typical duration of stay for the full-service hotels in the most well-known Romanian Mountain resort, Poiana Brasov. Secondly, it summarily investigates the proportion to which the tourists’ nationality and typology determine the tourists’ average length of stay in this mountain touristic destination. Lastly, it investigates how much the winter months and the seasons of the year affect the typical duration of stay. In light of the major objectives of the current article, the investigated population consists of domestic and international travelers who have selected Poiana Brasov Mountain resort as their vacation destination and have taken use of hotel amenities. Data collection was fulfilled using the Booking.​com site.
Oana Ruxandra Bode, Ioan Cristian Chifu, Adina Letiția Negrușa
Chapter 12. Are Small Towns Smart Destinations?
Abstract
Like any other destination, small towns engage in strong competition with one another and with other destinations to attract investments, maintain and attract highly skilled employees, and become appealing and well-liked tourist destinations. Creativity and the adoption of innovations are crucial in such cases, as technology has directly influenced destination development. In their smart transformation journey, local economies need to expand their business environment, focus on sustainable development, and take advantage of the available new technologies, which, together, enhance local economic growth and job creation. The authors focus on assessing the smart development of 16 Romanian small towns, once the concepts “smart destinations” and “smart tourism” are defined.
Several approaches were used to acquire data and verify the existence of a link between the destinations’ smart transformation and their tourism activity and performance. The main findings lead to the conclusion that in the case of small towns, their recognition as successful tourism destinations enhances their smart transformation. However, in these cases, the process is even more delayed than in the case of the Romanian county residencies and counties, which also lag behind other European destinations.
The research findings lead to the following conclusions. The development of tourism and hospitality services generates more financial resources, which can support destinations to improve their quality of life and turn toward smart and sustainable development. Furthermore, tourism has the potential to enhance destination orientation in this respect exactly due to the smart and sustainable orientation of the tourists. Small-performing tourist destinations feature professionalized strategic thinking and planning.
Monica Maria Coroș, Delia Popescu, Iuliana Tudose, Georgică Gheorghe
Chapter 13. The Decentralization of Romanian Tourism Through Blockchain and Non-Fungible Tokens: A Case Study on Stramosi NFTs
Abstract
The tourism and hospitality sector urgently needs digital technologies that will lead to efficiency enhancement, lower costs, and greater transparency. Blockchain and NFTs can significantly benefit the tourism industry, leading to increased competitive advantage, improved customer satisfaction, and improved performance. This new technology has the ability to reform the tourism industry because they enable the decentralization of activities, eliminates mediators, and provides a trustworthy platform that connects tourists and companies. This paper aims to analyze the potential that NFTs and blockchain can have in revolutionizing the Romanian tourism industry. We consider the case of Stramosi, the first Romanian NFT project inspired by Romania’s colorful mythology minted on MultiversX blockchain, a secure, scalable, and fast blockchain platform. We focus on the particularities of Romanian tourism, its current challenges, and how decentralization through blockchain and NFTs can boost Romanian tourism and set the track for a sustainable long-term tourism strategy. An in-depth analysis of the benefits and possible limitations of the technology has been carried out. The results of the analysis provide new insights into the potential of NFTs and blockchain technology in transforming the Romanian tourism and hospitality sector.
Carmen Eugenia Năstase, Andreea Corina Niță, Maria Vrânceanu, Cristina Iuliana Petrovan
Chapter 14. Approaching Certain Fundraising Methods and a Revised Theory of Planned Behavior in an Experimental Framework
Abstract
The fundraising process could be referred to as being a focal point that defines the overall performance of a certain nonprofit organization. In this regard, the idea of differentiating among a wide variety of methods by which the needed funds are procured entails a greater interest from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. Consequently, the current paper aims to reveal the manner in which a series of fundraising methods and certain factors integrated within the theory of planned behavior influence the individuals’ decision in terms of donating. Thus, the paper renders the content of a marketing experiment that was operationalized on a sample of 750 respondents on the basis of using a self-administered questionnaire. The general theoretical framework that substantiated the given research endeavor was represented by the conceptual model of the theory of planned behavior in extended form. In terms of the obtained results, these indicated the fact that the influence exerted by the subsequent fundraising methods on the individuals’ donation intention is not a significant one from a statistical viewpoint. Nevertheless, the paper could be considered a notable preamble associated with approaching the theory of planned behavior in an experimental setting.
Andreea-Angela Șeulean
Chapter 15. Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis of Brand Value, Brand Equity, Brand Trust, and Brand Loyalty in Agribusiness
Abstract
The purpose of branding is to differentiate products or companies from their competitors and to create a positive perception of the product or company in the minds of the consumers. In agribusiness, branding is important because it helps to build trust and loyalty with customers. This research aims to provide an overview of the scientific studies that addressed various components or dimensions of the brand in agribusiness. The PRISMA 2020 statement is followed in the present research for systematic reviews and meta-analysis of brand value, brand equity, brand trust, and brand loyalty studied in articles dedicated to branding agribusiness in the last 12 years. The research reveals that the main factors that determine the value of a brand in agribusiness are customer satisfaction, vertical/horizontal integration, transparency, and association with local products; the equity of a brand in agribusiness is affected by the brand labeling process, place of origin, quality certificates/standards, the financial performance of the brand, age of the brand in the market, and brand familiarity; the brand trust in agribusiness is determined by the private label/manufacturer’s brand, local/regional/national brand, availability to pay, type of labeling, and the implications of the word-of-mouth, and the determinants of the brand loyalty are emotional customer involvement, proximity, brand awareness, and recognition of the manufacturer’s involvement in maintaining standards. The study provides relevant information for both academia and industry.
Horațiu Oliviu Buzgău, Smaranda Adina Cosma
Chapter 16. Two Decades of Municipal Bond Trading at the Bucharest Stock Exchange
Abstract
Borrowing through sub-sovereign (municipal) bonds is often considered a sustainable method to finance the local governments’ needs.
The present paper adds to this scarce literature a much-needed update regarding two decades of evolution of the municipal bond market segments at Bucharest Stock Exchange (henceforth BVB), showing, despite some advances, the underdeveloped stage of this market, mainly due to the ownership structure of the issued municipal bonds. The analysis presented below confirms the findings of a report for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development issued in 2020.
Currently, the quasi-absence of municipal bond offerings (the only exception being the bonds issued by Bucharest) represents an important vulnerability for the future of the municipal bond market segment at the Bucharest Stock Exchange, which might be on the brink of closure by 2030 due to the maturity of presently listed bonds. On the other hand, the need for re-financing might bring the local governments’ option to the alternative of issuing bonds, though the central authorities need to update and improve the framework within which sub-sovereign bonds are issued and offered to investors.
Cornelia Pop, Maria-Andrada Georgescu
Chapter 17. Growing Trends in Adoption of mHealth Apps and Users’ Perception of Availing Healthcare Services: A Study in Mumbai City
Abstract
The advent of smart healthcare has facilitated the ease of providing convenient health services to people. mHealth apps are not much different from it. This paper aimed at understanding the growing trends among users to adopt mHealth apps for availing healthcare services. It studies the users’ preference and perception toward mHealth apps provided free of cost by government and private companies on the Google Play Store.
In this study, mHealth apps offered by government and private companies were selected from the Google Play Store on the basis of their ratings and installs to study the trends in adoption. The survey-based questionnaire was used through purposive sampling to collect data from users in order to study their perception of mHealth apps.
The study revealed that the demographic variable education has an association with users’ perception of mHealth apps. The study also witnessed that more awareness about mHealth apps resulted in more adoption of them with a correlation of 0.688 for mHealth apps offered by the government and 0.905 for mHealth apps offered by private companies.
There has been a considerable increase in mHealth app users specifically during COVID-19 where still the level of awareness among people is low. Even though healthcare apps are heightened to meet the growing needs of users, their adoption is still quite low, especially apps offered by private companies. There is a need to bring awareness among people so as to penetrate mHealth apps in the market and inducing its more adoption among people.
Vilas Gaikar, Sawant Mitali
Backmatter
Metadata
Title
Sustainable Approaches and Business Challenges in Times of Crisis
Editors
Adina Letiția Negrușa
Monica Maria Coroş
Copyright Year
2024
Electronic ISBN
978-3-031-48288-5
Print ISBN
978-3-031-48287-8
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-48288-5