Networking, coopetition and sustainability of tourism destinations

Networking, coopetition and sustainability of tourism destinations

  • Thi Quynh Trang Nguyen
  • Patricia Johnson
  • Tamara Young

Newcastle Business School, College of Human and Social Futures, The University of Newcastle, Australia


While cooperation is widely recognised as beneficial for sustainable tourism, the role of coopetition is not well understood. Coopetition is a process reflective of the coexistence of cooperation with competition or conflict. This paper examines and theorises the emergence of coopetition by engaging actor-network theory to explore networking processes of collective actions for specific sustainability goals in two popular destinations in Vietnam. The research reveals that the convergence of stakeholders in collective actions influences the dynamics of their relationships. These dynamics manifested in three ways in each destination, which informed two streams of coopetition across the two destinations: the intervention of cooperation in existing competition and the intervention of conflict in existing cooperation. As a result, four types of intra- or inter-network coopetition emerged as a consequence of networking processes for sustainability at these destinations. This research has theoretical implications concerning the relationships between networking and coopetition and practical implications for destination management, involving the advantage of using a coopetition strategy to mobilise actions of diverse stakeholders in achieving sustainable tourism.

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Coopetition; Networking; Sustainable tourism; Actor-network theory; Vietnam