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Operating small tourism firms in rural destinations: A social representations approach to examining how small tourism firms cope with non-tourism induced changes

Lai, P-H, Morrison-Saunders, A. and Grimstad, S. (2017) Operating small tourism firms in rural destinations: A social representations approach to examining how small tourism firms cope with non-tourism induced changes. Tourism Management, 58 . pp. 164-174.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2016.10.017
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Abstract

This study explores the representation that owners and managers of small tourism firms ascribe to their rural destination and how non-tourism induced changes interfere with this representation and motivate coping as guided by social representations theory. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty-four owners and/or managers of at least one small accommodation property in Gloucester, New South Wales, Australia. The informants became involved in the area's accommodation sector primarily driven by the lifestyle goals embedded in their representation of Gloucester. The perception that mining-induced changes might transform Gloucester into a mining town as opposed to its current representation as a town with a mine has motivated many informants to cope. However, coping is impeded by feelings of powerlessness, perceived uncertainties, and distrust in both government and industry. The findings provide preliminary insight into why and how small tourism firm owners/managers cope when faced with change from the perspective of social representations.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/34552
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