Structural change in the European package holiday industry: UK/German comparisons

C. Gratton, G.W. Richards

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper analyses the development of the European package tour market paying particular attention to the two major package tour markets in Europe, the UK and Germany. It shows how both markets show high concentration with the top three firms supplying over half the market. Despite this similarity in market structure, UK and German package tour operators show great differences in conduct and performance. Whereas the UK market is characterized by fierce price competition, low profit margins, and high rates of entry and exit, the German market has none of these characteristics. It is argued that the UK market is a contestable market in Baumol's terms whereas the German market is a stable oligopoly. The competitiveness of the UK market has led firms to concentrate on the home market to protect market share. The oligopolistic nature of the German market and has led to expansion into other European markets. These points are highlighted by an analysis of data from the FVW International survey of European tour operators for the period 1988-1993.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)213-226
    Number of pages14
    JournalTourism Economics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1997


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