Tourism sector, Travel agencies, and Transport Suppliers: Comparison of Different Estimators in the Structural Equation Modeling

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Abstract

The paper addresses the effect of external integration (EI) with transport suppliers on the efficiency of travel agencies in the tourism sector supply chains. The main aim is the comparison of different estimation methods used in the structural equation modeling (SEM), applied to discover possible relationships between EIs and efficiencies. The latter are calculated by the means of data envelopment analysis (DEA). While designing the structural equation model, the exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses are also used as preliminary statistical procedures. For the estimation of parameters of SEM model, three different methods are explained, analyzed and compared: maximum likelihood (ML) method, Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo (BMCMC) method, and unweighted least squares (ULS) method. The study reveals that all estimation methods calculate comparable estimated parameters. The results also give an evidence of good model fit performance. Besides, the research confirms that the amplified external integration with transport providers leads to increased efficiency of travel agencies, which might be a very interesting finding for the operational management.

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