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BAR - Brazilian Administration Review

versão On-line ISSN 1807-7692

BAR, Braz. Adm. Rev. vol.6 no.1 Curitiba jan./mar. 2009

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1807-76922009000100006 

ARTICLES

 

Resource-based view as a perspective for public tourism management research: evidence from two Brazilian tourism destinations

 

 

Marcia Shizue Massukado-NakataniI,*; Rivanda Meira TeixeiraII

IE-mail address: marciamassukado@yahoo.com.br Departamento de Turismo - Universidade Federal do Paraná - UFPR Curitiba, PR, Brazil
IIE-mail address: rivandateixeira@terra.com.br Centro de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação em Administração - Universidade Federal do Paraná - UFPR Curitiba, PR, Brazil

 

 


ABSTRACT

This study adopted the Resource-Based View approach to analyse two public organizations located in Curitiba and Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. The focus was to verify how organizational and tourist resources are being used for planning and public management in these cities. Data collection was made by adopting semi-structured interviews with two groups: public and private sector managers. The insights of these two groups and the use of documentary secondary data made it possible to infer that the main resource for the implementation of public policies was organizational architecture. However, the most influential resource in public tourism management is the existence of tourist resources and organizational resources related to internal and external relationships and organizational culture. The analysis demonstrated that the researched cities do not use or do not know how to use the available resources in value-creating activities for local tourist management. Both cities present imperfections that do not earmark the full exploitation of organizational resources, compromising the exploration of available tourist resources.

Key words: resources; public policy; tourism destination.


 

 

INTRODUCTION

Official data from World Tourism Organization [UNWTO] in 2005, confirms 806.8 million world-wide displacements originated by tourist activities, corresponding to a sum of US$682.667 billion dollars, disclosing its significant importance and impact on the global economy (UNWTO, 2006). In Brazil, the Ministry of Tourism (2006) informs that, in 2005, 5,358,170 international tourists visited Brazil, pouring 3.2 billion dollars of revenue into the country. Meanwhile, Paraná State welcomed an influx of 7,319,475 tourists in 2006, who generated an income of 1,509,000 U.S .dollars. According to official data, 41% of these tourists live in the state, 46% live in other regions of Brazil and 12.7% are foreigners (Secretaria de Estado do Turismo [SETU], 2007). The well-known cities, Curitiba and Foz do Iguaçu, are Paraná State's most important tourist destinations, in combination receiving 49% of the total number of tourists- respectively 2,201,295 (Viaje Curitiba Instituto Municipal de Turismo, 2007) and 1,434,067 (SETU, 2008) tourists in 2006.

Records from the Secretary of State for Tourism in Paraná show that both Curitiba and Foz do Iguaçu stand out as the most important cities in the state when it comes to drawing visitors. The capital city has the most popular tourist attraction: the train ride to Paranaguá. Because it arouses people's interest for doing business and promoting events, Curitiba is the fourth most frequently visited capital in the country (Ministry of Tourism, 2006).

Foz do Iguaçu, which provides many leisure activities catering to various interests, is the second most frequently visited city in the country (Ministry of Tourism, 2006). It has the two main attractions in the state (SETU, 2007): the Iguaçu National Park, which surpassed the number of one million tourists, and the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam with 495,000 visitors that year.

We should also point out that having both municipalities as drawing destinations is a priority, according to the Tourist Regionalization Program [TRP] (Ministry of Tourism, 2008). To the TRP, the destinations that induce regional tourism development are those that have basic infra-structure and good quality attractions, which are characterized as a receptive hub and/or tourist flow distributor, i.e., those which are able to draw and/or distribute a significant number of tourists in and around their area, thereby enhancing the local economy's dynamics (Ministry of Tourism, 2008, p. 4).

Such a positive situation and the presence of the Secretary of State for Tourism in Paraná have been great boosters for the target delimitation and the choice of the cities analyzed in this study, since the aim of this policy is to determine in its planning, the strengths of the public tourism structure and the establishment of partnerships for the sector. However, as Sansolo and Da Cruz confirm (1997 as cited in Instituto Brasileiro de Turismo [EMBRATUR], 2004), this development contrasts with the performance on all levels of public tourist management. The authors comment that, in the past, even the federal public administration in Brazil considered tourism as an outstanding activity. These characteristics contributed, according to Lee and Barrett (1994), to the establishment of policies and priorities for the activity and decisions as to what level, type and volume of tourism the country can support, using planning and developmental policies that emphasize economic, social, cultural and environmental factors.

However, the strategic planning toward the tourist sector in Brazil is still at a preliminary stage, mainly related to municipal management. Nowadays, only the Federal Government and some States, including Paraná, have established concrete policies intended to create incentives and to structure the activity. Pearce (1998, pp. 458-459) defines the public sector interference in tourism as a multifaceted phenomenon where both private and public sectors have a part to play in this activity. He adds that "the public sector, at all levels -national, state and local - becomes involved in tourism in different ways, either planning, providing infrastructure and stimulating the economy or for economic, social, cultural, environmental and political reasons".

But, without the support and the cooperation of resources from other organizations, the public sector in general will not achieve success in giving tourism the economic priority it deserves. Implementation, therefore, becomes a process of keeping the balance between some objectives and not trying to maximize any one of them separately (Lickorish & Jenkins, 2000).

As noted by Sharma and Vredenburg (1998), the opportunities for developing a corporate competitive advantage diminish in a global world, and the resource-based view of the firm may be a good alternative to increase guidance to the development of competitive strategies, including public policy strategies.

Considering such a context, this study verifies the use of organizational resources and tourist resources by public tourist managers to establish public policies for the sector. The Resourced-Based View [RBV], widely used in Barney's studies (1997), was adopted as a theoretical basis, and proposes a more refined analysis of how these resources are articulated. The assumption is that the use of organizational and tourist resources are not sufficient for the implementation of public tourism policies, so it is necessary to network with other organizations to develop local tourism.

Barney (1997) states that the RBV is apply to determine how organizational resources can affect a firm's performance and, therefore contribute to gain a sustained competitive advantage. Thus, another assumption is that the organizational and tourist resources can be exploited to improve public tourism policies as they can be endowed with the most important strengths of the organization. Therefore, using their own resources in a better way, they may achieve the desired performance, such as becoming a magnet for tourists and external investment and, furthermore benefiting the community and the local tourist trade.

Therefore, the objective of this study is to verify how organizational resources and tourist resources, available to the public sector, are being used for the planning and the management of tourist activities in the cities of Curitiba and Foz do Iguaçu, in order to allow local development as a sustainable tourist destination.

As a result of this objective, the following research questions have been defined: a) Which public policy is the city tourist council developing? b) What are the existing tourist resources and how do the local public managers exploit and/or enable the exploitation of these resources? c) What are the organizational resources in the city tourist council and how are these resources used in tourist development? d) How does the network of resources between the city tourist council, the public sector (municipal, state and federal) and local private organizations occur? e) What is the local private sector's perception of public tourism management in these cities?

 

THE RESOURCE-BASED VIEW - RBV: THE THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK OF ANALYSIS

The theoretical framework of organizational resources presented as Resourced-Based View was in place before the accumulation of stocks in the administrative enclosure -and was mainly incorporated into analyses and conceptualizations of strategy in works of economic theory. Barney (1996) points out that the organization's strongest and weakest analysis and the environmental threats and opportunities (SWOT) are described in some traditions of research, some of which are from economic disciplines, whereas others are not.

Maijoor and Witteloostuijn (1996) understand that the Resourced-Based View is a mixture of theories. Within the strategic field, Mintzberg, Ahlstrand and Lampel (2000) consider Birger Wernerfelt (1984) as the first one to develop the idea of Penrose who, in an awarded article, gave a name to the theory based on resources. However, the credits for the development of the Resourced-Based View were given to Jay Barney who transformed it into a complete theory. António (2001) corroborates this idea when identifying the year 1984 as an important one for the most recent Resourced-Based View, derived from the articles of Wernerfelt (1984) and Rumelt (1984). The publication of these articles was accompanied by a proliferation of many others, which have contributed to the development and consolidation of this theory.

According to Carneiro, Cavalcanti and Silva (1999), it was in the late eighties that diverse works in the Strategic Administration area indicated that the differences existing between the performances of firms in the same industry showed better performance than the differences of performance between industries, meaning that companies' internal factors were making a larger impact in comparison to the external factors, i.e., to the industry's structure.

Similarly, Grant (1991) mentioned that the studies on strategies that focus on the organization's strengths and weaknesses came prior to the development of studies that emphasized the relationship between strategy and the external environment. For the author, the re-appearance of interest in the role of the organization's resources as the basis for organizational strategy was reflected by the dissatisfaction with the balanced and static structure of the industrial economic organization that dominated thinking on contemporary organizational strategy.

The studies that visualized the organization's internal analysis have occurred on a number of different axles. However, Grant (1991) emphasized that the implications of this theory based on resources on strategic administration remained uncertain for two reasons. First, some contributions do not have an integrated structure. Secondly, little effort was made to develop the practical implications of this theory.

Hayashi (2002) points out that, recently, the Resourced-Based View has been understood as a paradigm or perspective, a very important time within the strategic area, because it enables new insights into the formulation and implementation strategies. No matter what the origin of the thought, Barney (1996) also argues that there is one recent movement of research based on the general control of institutional leaders on economic incomes and on the company's growth for the development of only one rigid and structured model that can be used to analyze the organization's weaknesses and its strong points. It is, in this general model, that the author initiates the development of the theory named Resourced-Based View.

As a competitive advantage, the Resourced-Based View examines the relationship between the internal organizational characteristics and the company's performance; it could not have the same fundamentals that are adopted for studies that focus on environment threats and analysis of opportunities.

Thus, the two basic theory principles developed by Barney (1997) are: a) from Penrose's work (1995), stating that companies can be understood as a combination of productive resources, and that different companies possess different sets of these resources; b) from Selznick (1957), claiming that some organizational resources are very expensive to follow and have disrupted supply, generating the notion of the immobility of these resources.

As Barney (1996) has already stated, the Resourced-Based View focuses on the distinctiveness and on the costs of copying the resources controlled by the organization. This occurs because the organizations within one sector can be heterogeneous in relation to the strategic resources they control and these resources may not be transferable between these organizations and, therefore, the heterogeneity may be permanent.

Thus, the RBV examines the role of the organizational chart of the unalterable organizational resources in the creation of a sustainable competitive advantage (Barney, 1986). There are several concepts related to the meaning of organizational resources in the administrative literature. Barney (1996) points out that one of the first authors to name organizational attributes using the terminology 'resource' was Wernerfelt (1984), being later adopted by other authors.

In the construction of the concept of resource, Barney (1997, p. 143), appeals to Daft (1983) affirming that

the organizational resources are all the organizational goods, capacities, abilities, processes, attributes, information, knowledge and many others that are controlled by the organization and that makes it possible for the company to conceive and to implement strategies that improve its efficiency and its effectiveness.

But, the use of the term resource to distinguish an organizational attribute does not exclude the adoption by some authors of other terminologies. Thus, concepts such as capacity (Kay, 1996), ability (Prahalad & Hamel, 1990), asset (Teece, Pisano, & Shuen, 1997) and resources are current, not having in practice great distinctions between them (António, 2001; Baden-Fuller & Boschetti, 1996; Barney, 1996).

Penrose (1995) affirms that a company is more than an administrative unit, being also a grouping of productive resources divided in physical resources and human resources. The physical resources consist of tangible goods -plant, equipment, natural resources, raw material, half-finished products, discarded products and by-products and unsold supplies. The available human resources in the company are the professional, clerical, administrative, financial, legal, managerial and technical teams.

Grant (1991) presents a different proposal to categorize resources, taking into consideration the reputation and the technological resources beyond Barney's four categories of resources (1996) - human capital, financial, organizational and physical resources that he calls, in general, organizational resources.

Kay (1996) presents four different capacities as important relationships between the characteristics of an organization (a) the organizational architecture is a contract where it can establish relationships with or between its employees -internal architecture -, with its suppliers and customers -external architecture - or, enters a group of companies engaged in correlated activities; (b) innovation or company capacity to offer new products to the market; (c) the reputation or mechanism used to transmit information to consumers and the association with the attributes of product and; (d) the strategic assets that are related to the position the company has in the market.

The organizational architecture, despite being complementary to the category of organizational resources defined by Barney (1997), is coupled with the intention of emphasizing the necessity for partnerships between organizations, introducing the concept of resource network as a means of accomplishing such partnerships.

Table 1, below, summarizes the categories of resources that are adopted to base the work, grouping of the classification used by Barney (1997), John Kay's (1996) category on organizational architecture and some considerations of other authors.

In the view of Mascarenhas and Vasconcelos (2004, p. 8), the resources' theory were an advance in the discussions on an organization's strategy. The authors add that the strategy theories state that organizations do not only have to be worried about what was good yesterday and whether it is good today, but also about what they can make better in the future.

Melián-González and García-Falcón (2003, p. 721) exemplify the use of RBV in the study of tourist destinations when they assess the islands of Gran Canaria, Madeira, the Azores and Cape Verde, based on the local tourist resources and point out that:

(...) application of the prescriptions of the resource-based view to destinations, a different unit of analysis from the original, which is the firm, is feasible because of a number of similarities which exist between them: one, there may well exist a series of objectives for the destinations, as established by the political authorities in power; two, they possess a series of resources and capabilities used to undertake certain economic activities and which may well display the characteristics proposed in this theoretical approach; and three, they are limited by their specific environments, to which they must adapt if they are to survive.

Although the tourist resources are not explicitly illustrated as a resource category in RBV, they can be considered a physical (e.g. geographical location) or an organizational resource (e.g. local traditions and culture). Thus, they are considered in this analysis as the most important asset for tourism development, because these resources are fundamental to any public policy that aims to improve tourist activities. In consequence a tourist resource can be defined as the entire natural, historical, cultural and social assets of a destination with sufficient attractiveness to become the major motivation that leads a person to visit it.

 

GOVERNMENTAL STRATEGY AND PUBLIC TOURISM POLICY

Public policy as a governmental strategy is conceptualized by Santana (1999) as having the same meaning as governmental policy and governmental decisions that "are possible expressions that we adopt according to the context, always mentioning the decision making process regarding public interest questions".

Sansolo and Da Cruz (1997 as cited in EMBRATUR, 2004) emphasize that planning is a continuous process of reaching a decision, directed toward the future and one or more aims or objectives. As a process, therefore, planning cannot be confused with a plan that encompasses a set of decisions on a determined theme, area or sector.

Thus, governmental planning can be considered an action projection that is made in the public administration scope, considering its different levels of management. Public policy, in turn, is part of governmental planning and involves everything that a government decides to do or not to do concerning any sector of social life. Consequently, public policies establish themselves as the proper process of planning; with the difference that the planning is the process and the public policy is the public administration position in relation to the aspects of social life at a particular moment.

The position taken can be disclosed in the form of a document - such as a plan - and can consequently enjoy the visibility that is expected of public policies (or they can also remain invisible). Public policy can be more or less general. In tourism, for example, it is possible that one policy of tourism can be derived from other specific policies, such as one policy of tourist marketing, another qualification of manpower for tourism and support for the local/regional craftsman, etc. (Sansolo & Da Cruz, 1997 as cited in EMBRATUR, 2004).

In tourism, strategic actions by the State have been stimulated by the recognition that tourism leads to economic development. Barbosa (2003) affirms that to reach the desired level of tourist development, governments can appeal the public policy instruments that are related to supply and demand. It is, in this perspective, that public policies are similar to governmental strategies.

The government's activity under the offer perspective is related to the provision of infrastructure in order to influence the suppliers of installations and tourist services, named superstructure, and to develop tourist products able to attract tourists, to provide quality services and to show good intentions to the local population and its visitors (Barbosa, 2003, p. 4). The author affirms that the development of a tourist destination requires the existence of an infrastructure capable of taking care of the residents and the floating population that arrives through tourism. The adequate infrastructure is essential for tourist destinations and appears mainly under the form of transport (roads, railroads, airports, garage), public utility services (basic sanitation, electricity, communications), and other services (health, security), having to be shared between visitors and residents.

To define governmental management on the demand side, Barbosa (2003) uses the argument of Cooper, Fletcher, Wanhill, Gilbert e Shepherd (2001). These authors affirm that management must take on a pro-active position and develop strategies that guarantee the desired development. This strategy not only requires a deep understanding of the market in question, but also what it has to offer.

However, when a strategy directed to demand becomes related to public policy, Gilbert (1991) alerts that the public tourist organizations are also, in a certain way, hindered by the adoption of a true marketing orientation because these agencies often have little or no control over the quality of the product that they are promoting.

Another factor related to the destination promotion is the marketing strategy that is used to attract identified segments. It is essential that the quality of the installation on offer meet expectations and live up to what was promised to the target-market throughout the entire marketing process (Barbosa, 2003, p. 7). Wanhill (1997) argues that the tourist industry usually expects the public sector to provide statistical information and market surveys. On the other hand, governments have an interest in monitoring alterations in the industry and in doing research to identify the social benefits and the costs of tourism.

Internal and external factors can also influence strategy performance; it is important that control systems enable researchers to be informed about significant changes and how to react to such events. Thus, the government's action in relation to demand is oriented to its target public, in order to carry out events that can bring benefits to local residents and monitor the activity using quantitative and qualitative research.

 

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This study adopted a sectional analysis with longitudinal evaluation as a result of the analytical categories investigated from 2001 to 2004. The analysis level was organizational, and the unit of analysis, the organizational resources and the tourist resources used in the municipal management of tourism.

In terms of its objective and characteristics, the case study strategy was considered to be most adequate for this research, and therefore the phenomenon was analyzed as a whole. Moreover, it captured a high degree of detail on the perceptions of the social actors that directly affect the municipal management of tourism.

The research design was a multiple case study, that according to Yin (2001, p. 32) "is an empirical inquiry that investigates a phenomenon inside contemporary real life context, especially when the limits between the phenomenon and the context are not clearly defined". In these two case studies, different cities and their respective organizational resources were analyzed individually in order to make a later comparative analysis possible.

The organizations studied were selected intentionally, the choice criterion being that they belong to Paraná State tourist cities that attract more tourists - 49% of the total tourists - Curitiba and Foz do Iguaçu. Another justification for the intentional choice of these cities is for the purpose of comparison: they present particularities in terms of available organizational resources and tourist resources and, consequently, the strategies developed in the sector.

The research groups were divided into three groups: group 1- strategic level leaders and managers that play a relevant role in the tourist city council of Foz do Iguaçu and Curitiba, acting directly in local tourist development; group 2 - managers of other departments and other official tourist agencies (state and federal); group 3 - representatives of tourist associations, unions and other related organizations.

In Curitiba, 15 interviews were conducted with 5 local managers (group 1), 2 public managers of the State (group 2) and 8 administrators from the private sector (group 3). In Foz do Iguaçu 6 local managers (group 1), 1 manager from the public sector (group 2) and 6 administrators from the private sector (group 3) were interviewed, making 13 interviews in all.

The primary data was collected in semi-structured interviews, and questionnaires were used with these three groups. These interviews were conducted spontaneously by way of informal conversations that were recorded with the permission of the interviewees. A set of questions, taken from the study's protocol, were used as guidance for the interviews. The main questions were about the exploration and application of their own resources, the existence of cooperative relationships between these groups and their perceptions about the performance of public and private sectors in tourism activities. The secondary data, concerning to organizational resources, tourist resources, public politics and network resources was collected from 'first hand' documents that had not been subjected to any type of analysis (Gil, 1991, p. 51), as these documents were kept in the archives of public agencies and scientific associations.

Moreover, other documents were used such as research reports, plans, programs, etc. From the data analysis, it was possible to elaborate a script of semi-structured interviews, which were used to collect primary data.

In this study, the secondary data was analyzed using the document analysis technique. Primary data were collected from semi-structured interviews, as mentioned above, conducted with the city council tourist representative, with the tourist sector representative, the tourist association director and other representatives of municipal, state and federal public organizations.

 

CURITIBA URITIBA AND FOZ DO IGUAÇU: CITIES AND TOURISM DESTINATIONS

The tourist development histories of Curitiba and Foz do Iguaçu have different and unique features, as can be seen from the current activities and attractions in both cities. Whereas the capital city focuses on business and event kinds of tourism, Foz do Iguaçu leans more heavily towards a leisure-like kind of tourism, which exploits the natural areas of the region.

Tourism in Curitiba is the result of man's inspiration and creation as an intervening power in the urban image of the city and mainly in its quality of life. Despite the fact that there was initially no intention to focus on tourism, because the objective was to promote well-being and quality of life, there are aspects, i.e. numerous squares, parks and small woods around the city that raise the tourist's curiosity and make it a tourist destination.

We can also point out the expansion of hospitality units with an increase of 72% in the last 6 years (Paraná Turismo, 2003). Besides entertainment facilities, as well as specific places to hold events, the city is appropriate for tourism. Thus, Curitiba is making every effort to keep up its business tourism and be the leader in the event market designed for the kind of people who seek it.

Nestled in the southeast of Paraná, Foz do Iguaçu portrays a mixture of people identified as fifty-seven nationalities present in the municipality and around the Iguaçu Waterfall - Iguaçu National Park - and the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam.

According to a study by Paraná Turismo (2003), the tourist activity in the city has very important strategic and unique aspects in its region. Having a vast hospitality service, the good infra-structure draws visitors from all over and is considered one of the places most frequently visited by foreigners in Brazil.

Official data shows its international value as a tourist destination. According to the figures provided by EMBRATUR (2004), Foz do Iguaçu was the sixth most visited city by foreigners (7.4% total) in 2003. It is only behind big cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and the northeast capitals Salvador, Fortaleza and Recife, but it is the first non-capital city destination.

 

A VIEW OF CURITIBA AND FOZ DO IGUAÇU'S TOURIST AND ORGANIZATIONAL RESOURCES

The organizational resources were analyzed according to the classification of Barney (1997) that subdivides them into: organizational resources, human capital resources, financial resources and physical resources. The question of joint resources represented by the organizational resources of Barney (1997) was salient for the insertion of the concept of organizational architecture of Kay (1996), synonymous, in this study of joint resources. According to Table 1, the organizational resource analysis was made based on the public projects and programs adopted by each official tourist department of the analyzed cities (managing instruments of the public power operation).

The analysis of tourist resources in the following study considered natural and cultural tourist attractions in the researched cities, not taking into account any other types of resources. The account of the tourist resources was made based on the information collected from the official tourist departments of the cities. Curitiba has forty-seven tourist attractions altogether, most of them historical and cultural, which were catalogued by the Tourist Administration and considered essential for the city. According to the Secretary of State for Tourism Foz do Iguaçu, tourism is connected to the practice of sports and leisure, to cultural variety and local history, and mainly to its natural and unique beauty. These resources are presented in the following table.

 


Table 2 - click to enlarge

 

When analyzing the organizational resources, we can see that researched cities possess some similarities in the problems encountered with the physical resources in the tourist information offices of Curitiba and Foz do Iguaçu. The differences are noticed mainly in the organizational resources, where we separate the internal relationship and the organizational culture of the studied agencies.

Curitiba's city tourist council has a brief organization chart and active communication between the coordinators, which facilitate decision making and speeds up some internal procedures. Moreover, the managers' accessibility and the director's participation in the projects are a favorable point to the performance of the management's functions.

This good relationship positively influences the organizational culture. Strong vestiges of enterprise management have been detected in the documents analyzed and mainly in the municipal managers' speeches. The presence of planning and definition of objectives and goals as tools to develop tourism in the city was a unanimous opinion of the municipal managers. In accordance with the vision of these managers, a very strong enterprise culture was observed, unlike in Foz do Iguaçu.

The Foz do Iguaçu city tourist council has a simple organizational structure, but with many divisions. This causes difficulties in the functioning of some of them, which at least had responsible people for the execution of tasks assigned on the organization chart. The manager's relationship is also another point of contention. The differences in the conception of the agency's role and especially mainly the lack of strategic vision and the application of planning in the public administration were the major problems standing in the way of organizational agreement.

However, this apparent unfamiliarity was reflected by the politicians' interests. In general, the agency's actions had always been strongly related to political questions, either to the priority of some projects or to justify the delay of other projects. Also observed in the municipal managers' speeches was the claim for the city's policies to be represented at the state and federal public levels.

Regarding tourist resources, Curitiba is characterized by man-made attractions that were created initially for the local population, but later, because of their beauty or peculiarities, have appeared on city postcards.

However, they are either managed by several city managers or belong to the private sector, and this is why the power of the local tourist agency is so limited. This lack of control on tourist attractions causes discomfort among the managers, who feel that their hands are tied when it comes to improving these attractions and they feel that their actions are limited only to promoting them.

In relation to the uniqueness of its tourist resources, Foz do Iguaçu has a strong appeal for contemplation tourism. The Iguaçu National Park, the Itaipu Hydroelectric Power Plant and The Landmark of the Three Frontiers (between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina) are the main attractions for the tourists. Other historical and cultural attractions related to technology or sports are being exploited by the public sector and discovered slowly by the tourists.

The differences between the tourist resources of the researched cities are clear: Curitiba has in its history and culture the main appeals for the construction of its tourist attractions; Foz do Iguaçu, in turn, has in the natural beauties and the technological innovations, its focus of attraction. These differences have significantly influenced public sector performance because it was from the recognition of the value of tourist resources to the city that the activity planning was carried out

 

TOURISM MANAGEMENT IN CURITIBA AND FOZ DO IGUAÇU: PUBLIC POLICIES AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR PERSPECTIVE

Curitiba's city tourist council projects are characterized by the existence of programs and projects and a plan that guides the actions and determines for its managers the objectives to be reached and the strategies to be used. It seems that the strategies presented in the projects have a predominantly related matrix to offer - where it wants to invest in tourist infrastructure, products and tourist equipment and services in spite of the strategies related to demand - in this case stronger with the actions of marketing, city promotion and spreads.

In the case of Foz do Iguaçu, the projects take place in random form. The orientation document for the formulation of action strategies of 1997 was not very useful; what it denotes is the fragility of these policies that are conceived and operated in accordance with the present context having only immediate consequences. In relation to the type of strategy used in these projects, their performance was found to be directed at offer being great, despite the biggest concern in the last years to make investments in destination promotion according to demand.

If we compare the 2 cities, two comments can be made on the studied cases: Curitiba has its own planning to conceive and to implement its projects, while Foz do Iguaçu city tourist council occasionally formulates its projects without previous planning. Secondly, it is clear that the two cities have different strategies for the focus of their projects. Curitiba, although it has good tourist attractions to offer, equipment and tourist services and infrastructure, still wants to improve its strategies related to offers, launching new attractions such as Curitiba - The Christmas' Capital and a business-oriented attempt to improve tourism and events and to join the circuit of recognized cities for leisure tourism.

In turn, Foz do Iguaçu has very individualized tourist products with predominance for the Iguaçu National Park and the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam; despite not having a complete infrastructure, these attractions give the city possibilities to work the desired demand by advertising campaigns and destination spreads in fairs and events.

In Curitiba, the private managers interviewed defined four points which are necessary for the tourist public administration. It was observed in the managers' speeches that it is necessary for the tourist city council to carry out the function of watching over the tourist infrastructure, the maintenance of tourist attractions, the quality of service to tourists and mainly the promotion of incentives for the sector to invest in the activity. The managers also evaluated positively the partnerships between the public and private sectors.

Foz do Iguaçu's private sector managers evaluated the actions related to the city promotion and advertising as a tourist destination as positive. However, the performance in areas related to the infrastructure, security guards and incentives for qualification of manpower have been heavily criticized by these managers. The lack of investments in the tourist activity was considered a negative factor by the managers. The private managers have observed two other facts: the question of joint resources necessary for the establishment of partnerships and the necessity of planning and policies that make these partnerships possible.

In the two cases, it was observed that there was a common perception between the private managers of both cities on the lack of vision from the public managers about tourism as an economically income-producing activity for the city and therefore they do not invest in the activity. Likewise, the partnerships are considered by the two groups as being essential for the activity management, since it is emphasized that both the public and the private sectors have a contribution to make with tourist development. However, Foz do Iguaçu's private sector was found to have a more critical vision of tourism than the private managers of Curitiba, who disagree on some points with the local public.

 

FINAL CONSIDERATION AND SOME SUGGESTIONS

The intention of this study was to verify the organizational and tourist resources used for public tourism administration in Curitiba and Foz do Iguaçu. However, the analysis demonstrated that these cities do not use or do not know how to use the available resources as tools in local tourist management. Both cities show evidence of imperfections that do not allow the full exploitation of organizational resources, compromising the exploitation of available tourist resources. Therefore, some final conclusions are presented in relation to the inherent difficulties faced by both cities to use organizational and tourist resources.

In Curitiba, the private managers mention the public management's lack of vision of the economic importance of tourism. The resource that appears as the main differential for the Curitiba tourist agency is the organizational resource. This was identified by the strong presence of planning and an internal culture directed toward an enterprise vision of public tourist administration, which we could call enterprise culture in public management.

Foz do Iguaçu does not possess the same positive emphasis for its organizational resources. The planning adopted by the city has a very strong public influence, characterizing a certain political culture. The tourist activity in the city, despite the economic significance highlighted by private managers, still counts on little support from the public sector, mainly related to the transfer of budgetary resources.

Foz do Iguaçu's predominance is its natural tourist resources. The Iguaçu National Park, the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam and Landmark of the Three Frontiers are great tourist attractions and contribute to the city's success as a tourist destination. In general, the great tourist problem in both cities is joint resources. The interdependence between the organizations that constitute the tourist trade is inherent to the activity, in that the tourist needs a combination of infrastructure, equipment and services that cannot be provided only by one organization.

The resources that influence public tourism administration were analyzed; it was seen that the participation of each organization could be divided, giving the public sector some incentive in tourist infrastructure provisions, and to the private sector, the supply of equipment and quality services. In view of the present arguments, this study suggests some actions to minimize the negative points.

In Curitiba, the creation of a tourist agency with administrative autonomy that would allow for improved actions related to tourism in the city was suggested. In Foz do Iguaçu the necessity of more friendliness among employees and greater participation in the actions promoted by the agency was observed. On this point, the formation of work teams for the execution of projects was proposed, each one performing according to its ability.

For both cities, some recommendations were in place. In the context where the public sector (municipal, state, federal) and the private sector's participation is necessary for tourism, effective involvement on the part of all the stakeholders was suggested, including the community. This could be possible through meetings and debates, making these actors participate in and contribute to the tourist development process.

The public investments in basic infrastructure and in tourist infrastructure are identified as priorities for local tourism and mainly in the qualification of manpower for the sector. The joint resources for tourism must be chosen as a primary focus for these cities, aiming to generate some public actions, but mainly with the intention of encouraging the participation of all stakeholders benefiting from this process. This can be conceived as having in mind each one's attributes of public and private sector and, promoting joint actions with ways to consolidate the cities as tourist destinations.

 

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Received 04 September 2007; received in revised form 06 October 2008.

 

 

* Corresponding author: Márcia Shizue Massukado-Nakatani Departamento de Turismo - UFPR, Rua Dr. Faivre, 405 (3º andar), Curitiba, PR, 80060-140, Brazil.