Postprint of: Leiper, N & Lamont, M 2011, 'The better mousetrap fallacy: a case study of the Bali Pathfinder tourist map', Journal of Vacation Marketing, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 95-103.
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‘Build’ a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door’ is a slogan originating in the USA in the 19th century that could be applied to the Bali Pathfinder tourist map which is, in its utilitarian and artistic features, superior to other maps intended for tourists in Bali – and its price is lower. However, it is ‘a better mousetrap’ which relatively few tourists are beating a path to buy. Other maps are selling in larger quantities. Thus the case study illustrates what critical thinkers – skeptics – call ‘the better mousetrap fallacy’. A map of excellent quality – designed, published and distributed by a small-scale Balinese-owned business, has a minor share of its market. The weakness is in its method of distribution. In contrast, multinational publishers have a strong method, enabling them to capture a larger share. The strength of the multinationals cannot be matched by the small-scale local publisher.