The role of family businesses in sustainable tourism development

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Outline. Family business culture and sustainable tourismResearching the role of family businesses in sustainable tourismObservations and findingsCase studies and examplesFurther research. Family business culture and sustainable development. Family businesses form the majority of tourism

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The role of family businesses in sustainable tourism development

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1. The role of family businesses in sustainable tourism development A/Prof. Janne J. Liburd Prof. Jack Carlsen

2. Outline Family business culture and sustainable tourism Researching the role of family businesses in sustainable tourism Observations and findings Case studies and examples Further research

3. Family business culture and sustainable development Family businesses form the majority of tourism and hospitality businesses Key issues for family business are the role of family members, cultural practice and quality of life, and some are also motivated by conservation and sustainable development The cumulative decisions and actions of a large number of family businesses influences tourism experiences and sustainability, especially in small communities and ecologically sensitive areas Fam businesses def as any venture owned and/or operated by an individual, couple(s) or family.Fam businesses def as any venture owned and/or operated by an individual, couple(s) or family.

4. Researching the role of family businesses in sustainable tourism Many family businesses in tourism and hospitality case studied Examples of cultural and sustainable practices identified Roles, values, relations, motivations and intentions of family members investigated Threats to financial viability, culture and succession recognized Our research draws on competence dev seminar over 9 months in DK + extensive experience with family businesses in tourism and hospitality, gained through previous research, in-depth interviews and participant observation Our research draws on competence dev seminar over 9 months in DK + extensive experience with family businesses in tourism and hospitality, gained through previous research, in-depth interviews and participant observation

5. Observations and findings Many family businesses embody principles of sustainability, democratic equity and cultural practices (- and many do not!) Family business culture is constantly appropriated as a tourism resource, which is used to generate economic opportunities Simultaneously, a positive sense of place, identity, tradition, professional pride and mutual respect are reinforced Culture and values change over time and across generations Succession and equitable participation of younger family business owners are key to sustainability

6. Observations and findings Cultural values and sustainability “Surface values” – modes of behaviour, obligations and everyday practice “Hidden values” – tradition, trust, ethics, stewardship Tradition captured in storytelling Trust linked to shared goals, risk-taking, sense of place and belonging Ethics and democratic equity in internal and external business practices Environmental stewardship practiced by many nature-based family businesses

7. “Hidden” values made visible through storytelling “The hotel is family-run, and our ambition to fulfil all our guests’ wishes is legendary. In the old days, the manager used to pick up the guests at the station. And when an American, Mr. Johnson, cycled around the world, the girls at the reception mended his tyre. He had not experienced such helpfulness anywhere else in the world. What can we do for you?” Absalon Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark Sense of place & belonging through commitment to living ”on the land”, desire to cater to tourists extends back over four generations, preserving family history, tradition and selling cultural values to potential guests and employees alike. Sense of place & belonging through commitment to living ”on the land”, desire to cater to tourists extends back over four generations, preserving family history, tradition and selling cultural values to potential guests and employees alike.

8. Case studies and examples Inter-and intra-generational equity Henry of Pelham Winery (Niagara, Canada) Inn Father and Inn Mothers (Denmark) Improvement in material and non-material well-being CSR at Hovborg Inn (Denmark) Protection of biodiversity O’Reilly’s Rainforest Guesthouse (Queensland, Australia) Local/Global dimensions Wild Over Walpole (WOW) Western Australia

9. Henry of Pelham Winery (Niagara, Canada) Three brothers abandoned their own careers to take over their father’s vineyard when he became ill and subsequently died. Family branding based on venerance and respect for the forefathers. In fact, the quality award winning wines, themed events and merchandise are tangible evidence of their ancestry. Clear evidence of fraternity and equity amongst the brothers Operationalise inter and intra-generational equity by respecting founders, sharing decisions and building a successful business for their children.

10. Inn Father and Inn Mothers (Denmark) Owning or managing an inn is not a matter of occupation and corporate status rather it is about being: “I am the Inn Father” Parental behaviour directed at guests and personnel alike, and regardless of blood affinity Virtues of empathy, visibility and helpfulness Inter-and intra-generational equity despite embedded power distance Internalised corporate culture Internalised corporate culture

11. Corporate Social Responsibility and business ethics (Denmark) At Hovborg Inn, village elderly bring a ”food bucket” to pick up a hot meal No change in price over time, monthly payment based on honesty system No delivery – pick up only so ensuring social interaction for the elderly Improvement in material and non-material well-being, quality of life

12. Environmental stewardship at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Guesthouse “The main goal I would like for the family business, is to be more environmentally aware and focused. As the business has expanded we have lost our obligation to preserve the natural environment, which was the key ideology of the founding generations. Thus despite our lack of current emphasis on eco-tourism and the preservation of the environment I hope that one day our family business will … become the leaders of the eco-tourism industry and actively work for the preservation of our unique surrounds”.

13. Research Proposition Sustainable tourism development is not a static target to be achieved It is a process of transformation where acceptable levels of change to the home and working lives of those family businesses involved in hospitality and tourism are of key importance Ultimately, it is a matter of quality of life

14. Further research Need for in-depth understanding of family business surface values related to behaviour, obligations and practices Family business hidden values (tradition, trust, ethics, stewardship) links to cultural practice and sustainability Younger family business members’ values, motivations, intentions, relations and succession The role of family businesses in sustainable tourism development

15. Questions or Comments?

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