Author : Janne J. Liburd & Jack Carlsen
School/Work Place : University of Southern Denmark, Denmark (Janne J. Liburd), Curtin University of Technology, Australia (Jack Carlsen)
Contact :
Year : 2006

Family businesses, that is, businesses owned and/or operated my members of a single family, are predominant in Western economies. This is also an important category of business within tourism hospitality, particularly in rural areas where research indicates that they form the majority (Getz et al 2004). Whereas lifestyle is a main reason for the establishment of these businesses, they are also motivated by conservation (Carlsen et al 2001, Schaper and Carlsen 2004), and sustainability remains an option as well (Bramwell and Alletorp 2001; Getz et al 2004). Key issues for family business are the role of family members, cultural practice and quality of life. Understanding these dimensions is important to a large number of people in the tourism and hospitality industry, tourism planning and sustainable development, especially in ecologically and socially sensitive rural areas.

This paper proposes that our understanding of sustainable tourism should be extended to embrace the dynamics of cultural practice and sense of belonging. Culture is constantly appropriated as a tourism resource, which is used to generate economic opportunities and simultaneously reinforce a positive sense of place, identity, tradition, professional pride and mutual respect. The latter is of particular relevance since tourism is also well known for producing unequal encounters between visiting tourists, hosts and local residents (Liburd 2006). Moreover, sustainable development is not a static target to be achieved but a process of transformation where acceptable levels of change by those involved in hospitality and tourism are of key importance. It will be argued that inter-generational collaboration and democratic equity are critical to sustainability within family businesses in tourism and hospitality. Previous research by Getz and Carlsen (2000) indicates that the most important goal for family businesses was the sharing of key decisions. Moreover, the cumulative decisions of the multitude of family businesses in tourism and hospitality have more influence on sustainable development than do the singular programs and policies of corporations, which invariably focus on profits not people. This paper will demonstrate that family businesses, not corporations, are best placed to embrace the transformation towards sustainable tourism development because principles of equity and concern for matters beyond profitability are paramount for these businesses.

List of Articles
No. Subject Viewssort Date
234 Think Tank XIV Local Networks as Sustainable Policy Instruments: A Ca... file 3580 Jun 27, 2014

In this case study, a communication network among local hotel managers was examined, first to assess the extent of communication among hotel managers, and second to identify influential members within the network. Communication with respect ...

Author: Karen Irene Thal & Tracy Burkett 

Year: 2014 

233 Think Tank IV Sustainability in a Mature Mass-Tourism Destination: T... file 3574 Oct 13, 2013

Most destinations are struggling to achieve sustainability for their economies, their environments, their cultures and their tourism industries. This laudatory, idealistic and complex process involves many sectors of the industry, the commun...

Author: Pauline Sheldon, John Knox & Kem Lowry 

Year: 2004 

232 Think Tank XIII Building community capacity by developing regional bus... file 3546 Nov 06, 2013

Tourism is often proposed as a strategy for community development, especially in rural or remote regions where traditional industries, such as agriculture, are experiencing an economic downturn and there are limited alternative opportunities...

Author: Anna Blackman 

Year: 2013 

231 Think Tank XIV Sustainable Tourism Mobility: Recommended Strategies f... file 3526 Jun 26, 2014

Transport is a vital and integral component of the tourism system yet it contributes the most emissions in tourism (Dubois, Peeters, Ceron, & Gössling, 2011; Peeters & Dubois, 2010). In line with the global concerns for sustainabilit...

Author: Diem-Trinh Le-Klähn 

Year: 2014 

230 Think Tank IV Cultural Tourism as a Means for Sustainability in a Ma... file 3523 Oct 13, 2013

Tourism has become for many islands a means of social, economic and cultural development through the creation of jobs, raising standards of living and through the development of local resources for culture and heritage. Thus, many of these d...

Author: Chryso Panayidou 

Year: 2004 

229 Think Tank V Ecolabels and Green Globe 21: Awareness and Consumer A... file 3516 Oct 13, 2013

A case in point is New Zealand, where tourism has long been recognised as an important economic force; this is aptly illustrated by the sector’s contribution of 9.6% to the country’s GDP in 2003 (TRCNZ, 2005). The resource at the heart of mu...

Author: Christian Schott 

Year: 2005 

228 Think Tank VII Getting Fit to Innovate: TUI's InnOlympics file 3515 Oct 13, 2013

Tether (2003) describes innovation within service industries as having a Cinderella status - marginal and neglected. The traditional approach to thinking about innovation has been to concentrate on manufacturing and within that, the role of...

Author: Graham Miller & Caroline Scarles 

Year: 2007 

227 Think Tank VIII A Framework for Work-Life Balance Practices in the Tou... file 3496 Oct 13, 2013

This paper addresses the key issues surrounding the debate over work-life balance. It provides an overview of current thinking in the general work environment, with specific focus on the issue within the tourism industry. This paper present...

Author: Margaret Deery & Leo Jago 

Year: 2008 

OPA: 2008 Outstanding Paper Award Winner 

226 Think Tank IX The Role of Values in Sustainable Tourism Education file 3470 Oct 13, 2013

This presentation discusses the role of values in the context of sustainable tourism education. However, it does not seek to engage in the debate about the definition of Sustainable Tourism nor the differences between this concept and Sustai...

Author: Christian Schott 

Year: 2009 

225 Think Tank V Managing of Public Risks in Tourism: Towards Sustainab... file 3435 Oct 13, 2013

How to manage risks that endanger development of tourism but that are caused by tourism itself? An industry-based model is presented as an analytic tool and adapted to the situation in tourism. It is argued that development of tourism lacks ...

Author: Yoram Krozer & Else Redzepovic 

Year: 2005 

224 Think Tank X Agenda 21, the Internet and Globalization – Creating a... file 3426 Oct 13, 2013

This paper discusses the contemporary meeting of three large-scale systems or processes - Agenda 21, the Internet and globalization - and what this historical conjunction means for networking sustainable tourism development. It is important...

Author: Gordon Sillence & Herbert Hamele 

Year: 2010 

223 Think Tank XII Enhancing Social Capital through Networking for Sustai... file 3422 Nov 06, 2013

Social capital has been recognised as a factor affecting sustainable development in every discipline. A network or a partnership is identified as a “structural” form of social capital and a tool to empower participants in the networks. There...

Author: Attama Nilnoppkun 

Year: 2012 

222 Think Tank XIV Tourism Concessions in National Parks: Neo-liberal Too... file 3409 Jun 26, 2014

For the tourism sector the government aims to “Grow the number of new business opportunities on public conservation land in order to deliver increased economic prosperity and conservation gain” (New Zealand Government, 2012: 23). In relation...

Author: Valentina Dinica 

Year: 2014 

221 Think Tank IX The West in the East: Conflict in the Values of Volunt... file 3381 Oct 13, 2013

Consequently, the aim of this research was to explore the complexity of trying to work within a framework of sustainability, with a given number of stakeholders (in this case, a UK organisation, its customers (volunteers, primarily British) ...

Author: Angela M. Benson 

Year: 2009 

220 Think Tank XIII City Slicker to Roo Carer: The Journey of a Wildlife V... file 3361 Nov 06, 2013

The level of interest and participation in voluntourism has progressively become a major sector in contemporary tourism. The notion of combining a novel and pleasurable tourism experience with the fulfillment of contributing a worthwhile cau...

Author: Eunice Tan 

Year: 2013 

219 Think Tank IV Possibilities for Sustainable Tourism Management in Ac... file 3345 Oct 13, 2013

Sustainability is an inevitable concept in tourism which heavily depends on natural resources and environment with its products and services. Here prevention and controlling water, air and noise pollution, habitat degradation is more importa...

Author: Meryem Atik, Türker Altan & A. Akin Aksu 

Year: 2004 

218 Think Tank X Re-thinking Resort Growth and Governance: An Evolution... file 3326 Oct 13, 2013

Rapid growth in resort areas, combined with environmental and market stresses, has recently created concern amongst resort decision-makers about future paths of development. Growth models have operated effectively in maintaining resort comp...

Author: Alison M. Gill & Peter W. Williams 

Year: 2010 

217 Think Tank XII Understanding Tourism Flows and Patterns: A Case Study... file 3301 Nov 06, 2013

This paper reports on the outcomes of two collaborative research projects, conducted in conjunction with destination management authorities. The projects used GPS tracking devices to find out how various kinds of visitors moved around two Au...

Author: Deborah Edwards & Tony Griffin 

Year: 2012 

» Think Tank VI Family Businesses and Sustainable Tourism: the Role of... file 3301 Oct 13, 2013

Family businesses, that is, businesses owned and/or operated my members of a single family, are predominant in Western economies. This is also an important category of business within tourism hospitality, particularly in rural areas where r...

Author: Janne J. Liburd & Jack Carlsen 

Year: 2006 

215 Think Tank IV Attitudes towards Environmental Responsibility among S... file 3293 Oct 13, 2013

The first step in creating a more environmentally sound hotel industry should be a performance analysis of the hotel sector from an environmental perspective. An assessment measuring the level of environmental awareness among hoteliers and t...

Author: Paulina Bohdanowicz, Vlasta Zanki-Alujevic & Ivo Martinac 

Year: 2004