Internationalization of Tourism Destinations: Networking systems management




Internationalization, tourism destinations, systems innovation, territory, product, governance, DMOs


This paper aims to fill a gap in the existing research about the internationalization of tourism destinations through a systematic review of the literature focusing on publications presented between 2007 and 2017. The research followed the assumptions of the non-probabilistic snowball sampling technique. In addition, the computer programs VosViewer, for bibliometric analysis, and NVivo 10, for content analysis were used. Tourism destinations’ internationalization is a combination of: (i) integration of organizational interest with stakeholders’ interests; (ii) understanding that what moves these elements are endogenous and exogenous business opportunities; (iii) integrating external opportunities in the destination by aligning them with its territorial identity; (iv) achieving coherence between the previous three components through the implementation of a governance model; (v) a governance model that facilitates the destination’s organization by conciliating interests, resources and opportunities; (vi) and the DMOs that coordinate the dynamics generated between the elements of this system, making it possible to organize the supply following its territorial identity. The internationalization process of tourism destinations highlights factors different from the internationalization of companies. In the first scenario, politics, planning, and territory internationalization strategies should target different kinds of reflections according to the level of intervention (local, regional, national or international). In the second, it is essential that supply is aware of investment opportunities abroad, financial packages to support businesses, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The current period exposed the fragility of the tourism sector and how external threats can influence it. Thinking about the internationalization of tourism destinations shows how important it is to organize the tourism offer in accordance with the challenges the sector faces, at the same time as explaining the role of DMOs. Until now, this theme has been mainly studied from the perspective of demand, creating a gap in the existing knowledge about the organizational systems.


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Author Biographies

Maria do Rosário Mira, Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

SCOPUS Author ID: 57204468916

Web of Science Researcher ID: N-3212-2018

Affiliation: Ph.D in Tourism and Assistant Professor at the Higher School of Education, Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Rua D. João III, Solum, 3030-329 Coimbra, Portugal,


Member at CiTUR - RIPTUR and GOVCOPP-UA. International auditor for UNWTO TEDQUAL Certification Program, for the education in tourism and gastronomy courses. Her research interests relate to the quality, human resources, and internationalization of tourism destinations.

Zélia de Jesus Breda, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

SCOPUS ID- 36631560700

Affiliation: PhD in Tourism, University of Aveiro (DEGEIT), Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810 – 193 Aveiro, Tel. + 351 234 370361, Fax. + 351 234 370215.

Email address:

Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism (DEGEIT), University of Aveiro. She is an integrated member of the Research Unit ‘Governance, Competitiveness, and Public Policies’, a founding member and vice-president of the Observatory of China, and a senior consultant of IDTOUR, a tourism R&D spin-off company.




How to Cite

Mira, M. do R., & Breda, Z. de J. (2021). Internationalization of Tourism Destinations: Networking systems management . Journal of Tourism and Services, 12(23), 105–131.