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Title:Management of small tourism business in rural areas
Author(s):Do, Kyungrok
Director of Research:Wicks, Bruce E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Wicks, Bruce E.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Stewart, William P.; Mazzocco, Michael A.; Schwartz, Zvi
Department / Program:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline:Recreation, Sport, and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Rural tourism
Small Tourism Business
Abstract:Drawing from contingency theory and the concept of entrepreneurship, this study investigates the viability of the small-scale agritourism business by identifying the environmental and operational characteristics unique to agritourism businesses and proposing a model to explain owner behavior in managing an agritourism business. The research data were collected through an Internet survey that targeted agritourism owners in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. An empirical review of the data finds the four dimensions most determinative of the viability of an agritourism operation: external environment, internal conditions, managerial behavior, and business achievement. Moreover, it uncovers smaller sub-constructs within each of the four dimensions. Applying such alternative approaches as factor and regression analysis, the study examines the relationships among the constructs and sub-constructs and reveals the centrality of managerial behavior to mediating the connection between the desire for a successful business operation and its actual achievement. Specifically, the study discovers that agritourism managers most often use the enterprise for self-fulfillment and human connectedness rather than profit. Consequently, owners prefer reactive, improvisatory managerial behavior to bold and aggressive entrepreneurship. The pursuit of this posture, the study argues, is the surest path to the business’s viability. Identifying agritourism as a secondary business and source of pleasure rather than one of sustenance, this study establishes the value of employing subjective metrics over broader economic and financial indicators when measuring the success of a small-scale business. The fresh perspectives and diverse information contributed here give agritourism enterprise owners a sharper understanding of their industry, making them better equipped to evaluate the performance of their business and their own managerial practices within the context of broader trends. Likewise, business consultants and policymakers receive information and analysis to help them understand the obstacles facing and needs of business-enterprise development in their local areas and how different business owners in the tourism business react to their business and residential contexts.
Issue Date:2010-08-20
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Kyungrok Do
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-08-20
Date Deposited:2010-08

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