Publication Details

This article was originally published as Buchta, C & Dolnicar, S, Learning by Simulation - Computer Simulations for Strategic Management Decision Support in Tourism, International Journal of Tourism Sciences, 2003, 3(1), 65-78.


This paper describes the use of corporate decision and strategy simulations as a decision-support instrument under varying market conditions in the tourism industry. It goes on to illustrate this use of simulations with an experiment which investigates how successful different market segmentation approaches are in destination management. The experiment assumes a competitive environment and various cycle-length conditions with regard to budget and strategic planning. Computer simulations prove to be a useful management tool, allowing customized experiments which provide insight into the functioning of the market and therefore represent an interesting tool for managerial decision support. The main drawback is the initial setup of a customized computer simulation, which is time-consuming and involves defining parameters with great care in order to represent the actual market environment and to avoid excessive complexity in testing cause-effect-relationships.