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
194 Think Tank X Re-thinking Resort Growth and Governance: An Evolution... file 3322 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 

193 Think Tank XIII City Slicker to Roo Carer: The Journey of a Wildlife V... file 3335 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 

192 Think Tank XIV Tourism Concessions in National Parks: Neo-liberal Too... file 3375 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 

191 Think Tank X Agenda 21, the Internet and Globalization – Creating a... file 3377 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 

190 Think Tank V Managing of Public Risks in Tourism: Towards Sustainab... file 3382 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 

189 Think Tank IX The Role of Values in Sustainable Tourism Education file 3390 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 

188 Think Tank VII Getting Fit to Innovate: TUI's InnOlympics file 3408 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 

187 Think Tank XII Enhancing Social Capital through Networking for Sustai... file 3408 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 

186 Think Tank VII Web 2.0, Tourist Activated Networks and Sustainability... file 3466 Oct 13, 2013

With the emergence of Web 2.0, the Internet has begun to realize its potential in supporting the tourism experience. This presentation will first identify a number of applications within Web 2.0 that are visitor oriented - from Expedia and T...

Author: Daniel Fesenmaier 

Year: 2007 

185 Think Tank XIV Sustainable Tourism Mobility: Recommended Strategies f... file 3468 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 

184 Think Tank VIII A Framework for Work-Life Balance Practices in the Tou... file 3476 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 

183 Think Tank V Managing Risk and Crisis for Sustainable Tourism: Rese... file 3484 Dec 14, 2013

Many tourism professionals are afraid to speak about terms such as tourism security and tourism safety. There is a common feeling among tourism and travel professionals that these terms will frighten customers and that the less said the bett...

Author: Peter E. Tarlow 

Year: 2005 

OPA: Keynote Speech 

182 Think Tank V Ecolabels and Green Globe 21: Awareness and Consumer A... file 3502 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 

181 Think Tank XIII Building community capacity by developing regional bus... file 3512 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 

180 Think Tank XII Civic Tourism, Environmental Art and Tourism Mobility:... file 3524 Nov 06, 2013

For several decades the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude have created and installed art all over the world. Their art projects are large scale, temporary, and outdoor-environment inspired, and usually involve woven fabric that is suspended ...

Author: Diane Gaede & James Gould 

Year: 2012 

179 Think Tank XIV Local Networks as Sustainable Policy Instruments: A Ca... file 3539 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 

178 Think Tank XII Micro-Mobility Patterns and Service Blueprints as Foun... file 3543 Nov 06, 2013

This paper proposes the use of micro-mobility patterns and service blueprints in visitor management planning. Using a nature-based conservation area and visitor attraction in Wellington, New Zealand, as a case study, micro-mobility patterns ...

Author: Julia Albrecht 

Year: 2012 

177 Think Tank IV Sustainability in a Mature Mass-Tourism Destination: T... file 3544 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 

176 Think Tank XIV A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective on Sustainable Tourism... file 3560 Jun 26, 2014

In this study, I take up the task to work towards a theoretical and methodological framework that allows using sustainability as a threshold concept for critically evaluating the assumptions embedded in both tourism management theory and pra...

Author: José-Carlos García-Rosell 

Year: 2014 

175 Think Tank XII Causality Between Inbound Tourism and Economic Growth:... file 3561 Nov 06, 2013

This paper examines the existing studies of the relationship between inbound tourism and economic growth. After a brief discussion of general economic growth theory and the reasons why a positive causal relationship may exist between export ...

Author: Mondher Sahli & Simon Carey 

Year: 2012