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An analysis of the perceived effects of European Economic Monetary Union upon the hotel industry in the north of Portugal.

By Carla Isabel de Moura Pinto Cardosa


As a catalyst for a closer economic integration through a single currency, Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) held out the promise of welfare gains for the participating countries\ud and their respective industries. Among the potential benefits of monetary union, EMU was expected to enhance business competition through a stability-oriented macroeconomic policy framework, including greater transparency, reduced exchange rate uncertainty, greater\ud credibility to the policy regime and lower transactions costs, among others. Whether the hotel stakeholders perceived, or did not perceive, significant changes brought about by EMU for Portugal, and the hotel business environment in the north of Portugal in particular, was the\ud central aim of this study. To meet this aim the following was done: First, based on a literature review focussing on the economics of integration, business management and competitiveness theories the underpinning framework of the primary research were identified and developed. In particular, this research focused on the perceptions\ud of the hotel stakeholders towards the implications of EMU using and adapting three of Porter's models: the Diamond, Five Forces, and Value Chain models. By combining Porter's\ud models together in an all-encompassing framework, it was possible to confirm that there are advantages in merging more than one business environment level into an integrated study procedure. Second, three sets of surveys were conducted based on the underlying analytical frameworks\ud and knowledge of EMU and tourism/hotel industry. one survey for each of the three target groups. Together, these three surveys provided a multi-stakeholder perspective - the national, the industry and the businesses perspective - using people involved directly at each level of the\ud business environment (the Portuguese national authorities, the hotel industry associations and the hotel businesses in the North of Portugal). Finally, the data analysis was structured into two parts based on the type of questionnaire used: structured and semi-structured. The semi-structured questionnaires were analysed using two\ud types of content analysis, summation and explanation, using QSR NUD*IST 6 software programme. The structured questionnaires were analysed using basic descriptive methods, such as frequencies and cross tabulations. The quantitative data was analysed using the Statistical Packagefo r SocialS cience(sS PSS). One of the main conclusions the study reached through the conceptual framework used was that, EMU not only changed the business environment at a national level, but also changed the\ud competitive and operational environment of the hotels. However, the effects expected in literature were greater than the effects observed by the hotel stakeholders and, in particular, by the business respondents

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