Research Output

Commercial short holiday breaks in Scotland: an analysis of market structure, supplier strategies and performance.

  Hospitality and tourism environments are widely regarded as complex and dynamic in
nature. This combined with the need for commercial organisations to improve
performance places considerable emphasis on the need for approaches to
understanding market and organisation dynamics.
This research proposes an approach to analysing and understanding the dimensions of
markets and the interface with organisations to allow optimum performance. It uses the
commercial short holiday break (CSHB) market in Scotland as a contextual base, and
reflects an industrial economics approach which encompasses identification of market
structure, competitive strategies and company performance, to explore activity in the area
and propose approaches to analysing dynamic and complex markets.
Commercial short holiday breaks (CSHB) are widely recognised as a growth market for
hotels. What is often not documented is that such growth is at the expense of other
market sectors, fuelling mature market conditions and requiring increasingly
sophisticated marketing strategies to gain and sustain market share and thus improve
To date, little has been published on how hotel companies compete in CSHB markets or
what performance differences result as a consequence of different strategies and market
conditions. Therefore through an extensive literature review (of the limited data available)
and the construction of a database of hotel groups containing the 30 largest hotel groups
operating in Scotland, an indication of the market structure was formed. To confirm initial
findings and provide more detailed data on strategies adopted in the market, structured
telephone interviews were conducted with key suppliers. The interviews revealed strategic
groups with two main categories of strategy : predator strategies for gaining market share
and secondly defender strategies for protecting market share. To establish how strategy
affects corporate performance, further interviews were conducted at the corporate level
and then in recognition of the multi-site nature of hotel operations, interviews were also
conducted at unit level for six key short break providing companies. The findings indicate
that there are bilateral "associations" between the market structure, the strategy adopted
and the resulting performance. Having constructed a model based upon the findings, it
appears to be the case that results hold true between both the corporate (industry)
relationships and the unit (market) level relationships, making the model a significant
contribution to knowledge.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 April 1997

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    GV Recreation Leisure

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    338.4791 Tourist industry


Edgar, D. A. Commercial short holiday breaks in Scotland: an analysis of market structure, supplier strategies and performance. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from


commercial short holiday break (CSHB); market and organisation dynamics; corporate performance; strategy;

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