An institutional assessment of three local government-level tourism destinations at different stages of the transformation process
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Transformation theory attempts to understand the long-run process of structural shifts that occur in an industry and economy as a result of institutional change. While transformation theory is being advanced and tools have emerged to measure institutions, these innovations are yet to be applied to consider institutional change across the development spectrum. This is critical for developing institutional theory to underpin the tourism transformation process. Consequently, this paper aims to: 1) assess the institutions of the tourism industry in three regions at different stages of transformation, and 2) compare tourism to other industries within the regions. The results indicate that as the tourism industry matures it becomes smarter, more adaptable, and takes its own trajectory by departing from the institutional norms of non-tourism organizations in the region. The tourism management implications are that learning, research capabilities, adaptability and collaborative marketing plans should be fostered in the early stages of transformation.