McCamley, Claire and Gilmore, Audrey (2015) Aggravated Fragmentation: Resistant SMEs in the Heritage Tourism Industry. In: Academy of Marketing Conference 2015, The Magic in Marketing, 7th - 9th July 2015, Limerick, Ireland. (Unpublished)

Heritage tourism requires contributions from both public and private sector organisations. Aspects of the tourism product are provided by a range of government bodies resulting in a multi-sector approach to heritage tourism (Panyik 2011). This provision is dictated largely by strategic plans which are made at government level, with the intention that these will then be implemented in conjunction with the private sector. This can lead to fragmentation, a well-documented phenomenon in the industry, which is attributed to its unique structure (Gilmore 2003; Bornhorst et al 2010; Komppula 2014), requiring purposeful coordination and integration between stakeholders, which is a challenging task (Wray 2011).
This research presents findings and theoretical insights from an investigation of strategic marketing planning practice of tourism organisations in Northern Ireland. Specifically, the research detected that SMEs operating in the region did so in contention with the strategic framework provided by government, given distain for the overall strategic system in place. Their activity appeared to mirror consumer resistance behaviour, from a B2B perspective. Subsequently, the specific aim of this paper is to conceptualise the SME as a business consumer within the tourism industry infrastructure, identify the extent of business consumer resistance and, uncover outcomes of such behaviour.

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