The Role of the Public Sector in Tourism Destination Management from a Network Relationship Approach


Destination management; network relationship approach; roles of public sector; stakeholder theory


The study aims to determine the suitability of the dyadic approach and the network relationship approach when engaging destination stakeholders and to identify the roles of the public sector within destination management. These study aims are investigated in the context of Mbombela Local Municipality, South Africa. A conceptual framework was developed based on a literature review. Data were then collected through official documents, 55 semistructured interviews with key stakeholders, a local economic summit, forum discussions, and 504 demand- and 403 supply-side questionnaires. The study findings suggest that the network relationship approach was the most suitable approach for the engagement of destination stakeholders. In addition to the roles identified in previous studies, the study findings identified several additional roles that the public sector should fulfill in destination management. Based on the study findings, a new conceptual framework for the role of the public sector in destination management has been proposed. By utilizing the conceptual framework developed in this study, destinations can engage their stakeholders more effectively and increase the attractiveness of their destinations. This is one of a few studies from Africa providing empirical findings on destination management and the role of the public sector within destination management.

Publication Date


Original Citation

van Niekerk, M. 2014. The role of the public sector in tourism destination management from a network relationship approach. Tourism Analysis. Vol. 19 No. 6. pp. 701-718.

Document Type




Source Title

Tourism Analysis






Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

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