Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

How Do Rural Tourism Providers Exploit Opportunities? Insights from Kazakhstan

Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

How Do Rural Tourism Providers Exploit Opportunities? Insights from Kazakhstan

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Entrepreneurial activity is usually promoted as one of the most effective managerial approaches of redeveloping rural economies (Fuller-Love et al., 2006). Many developed and developing countries are actively supporting entrepreneurship nationwide, as a stimulation tool for a sustained economic growth as well as poverty reduction (Chowdhury, 2007; Zampetakis & Kanelakis, 2010). The contribution of entrepreneurship is significant to the economic development, since it generates employment, ensures community empowerment and promotes innovation (Zhao et al., 2011; Gurel et al., 2010; Chowdhury, 2007). In rural areas tourism entrepreneurship functions as an effective economic driver owing to its simulative effect on agricultural industry and other related branches, and thereby entrepreneurial activities improve economic welfare and livelihoods of local population (Hurst & Niehm, 2010; Fleischer & Felsenstein, 2000). Previous studies have highlighted diverse aspects of entrepreneurship theory. One of the broadly discussed topics has been small business issues and the role of small enterprises (Carlandet al. 1984; Perren, 1999; Thurik and Wennekers, 2004; Amini, 2004; Ateljevic, 2006). On the other hand, tourism entrepreneurship literature has explored behavioral side of the phenomenon expressing considerable interest in the term "entrepreneurial intention" (Kobia & Sikalieh, 2009; Gurel, Altinay& Daniele, 2010; Ferreira, 2012; Morrison, 2000; Ritchie & Brindley, 2005). Additionally, the importance of innovation has been widely investigated within the scope of entrepreneurship (Swami & Porwal, 2005; Ndubisi & Iftikhar, 2012; Hjalager, 2009).

Recently a growing number of studies has been emerged in the field of rural entrepreneurship representing a new stream in research (Getz and Carlsen, 2005Morrison, 2006; Vasela et al., 2007; Phelan, C., & Sharpley, R. 2011, 2012). Entrepreneurial activities conducted in rural areas are generally associated with rural tourism (Nickerson et al., 200; Fuller-Love et al., 2006). Rural tourism is a small-scale entrepreneurship that is implemented for the diversification of rural economy and local development (Sonnino, 2004; Carpio et al., 2008; Arroyo, Barbier & Rich, 2013). However, there has been little research devoted to the importance of entrepreneurship within the context of rural tourism, particularly in the field of agri-tourism mainly represented by farm-based hospitality businesses (Phelan & Sharpley, 2011). A limited number of studies investigating entrepreneurial process as applied to rural tourism, including agri-farm tourism constitute a gap in research that needs to be covered in light of the increasing attention given to the concept of "rurality" in tourism entrepreneurship research. In response to the existing gap in literature, the study aims to investigate the process of opportunity exploitation in rural tourism sector, including farm tourism businesses and agritourism services. On the other hand, the paper addresses problems and challenges faced by Kazakh rural tourism entrepreneurs. A qualitative research method was adopted whereby individual interviews with rural entrepreneurs were conducted in order to reveal key challenges existing in the sector.

A THEORETICAL AND CONCEPTUAL REVIEW

Tourism Entrepreneurship

During many years the concept of "entrepreneurship" has been recognized and studied as a field related to management research (Wortman, 1987; Wortman, 1990). More recently, a growing number of investigations highlighting different aspects of entrepreneurship and creating comprehensive understanding of the term have been conducted, thus providing relevant preconditions for entrepreneurship to become an independent area of research (Li, 2008). Analyzing the progress of entrepreneurship research published between the period from 19851999, Busenitz et al. (2003) argue that it is the emerging academic field. …

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