About this Research Topic
Lifestyle entrepreneurs represent a large part of tourism enterprises, contribute to the sustainability of destinations, and play an essential role in local development. These contributions result from the strong local association that these entrepreneurs have. On the one hand, they are interested in preserving the local way of life, traditions, knowledge, and the natural environment in which they operate. On the other hand, it is this local knowledge that ultimately represents the basis of these companies' competitiveness as it is unique and difficult to imitate. In terms of representativeness, local development, and sustainability, research focused on lifestyle entrepreneurs has an important and direct contribution to the achievement of the UN's sustainable development objectives - namely, no poverty, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequality, and life on land.
Despite the importance of this research, little academic attention has been given to these lifestyle entrepreneurs. Although these entrepreneurs are recognized in the literature for their low qualification and entrepreneurial experience, there are few studies on the characteristics, limitations and potential of these entrepreneurs. It is important to understand the organizational dynamics of these entrepreneurs, how they adapt to the evolution of the context, and how they transform their association with the site into innovation and new tourist products. Lifestyle entrepreneurs are attracted to tourism due to the low demand in terms of qualifications and previous experience. While their small-scale businesses are generally weak and uncompetitive, they nevertheless have a competitive potential due to local knowledge. According to global trends in tourism demand, this local knowledge allows them to offer genuine and participatory experiences to tourists. In this context, local knowledge management is essential, especially as these entrepreneurs have considerable difficulty with turning local knowledge into innovation and new tourism products.
For this reason, this Research Topic aims to invite Original Research and Systematic Review articles in order to systematically explore these entrepreneurs. The aim is to expand the existing literature through exploring the following sub-themes:
• Factors that attract and retain lifestyle entrepreneurs within a certain place;
• Analysis of strategies followed by native lifestyle entrepreneurs versus those who migrated to the destination;
• The role of the site as an element of differentiation;
• How lifestyle entrepreneurs incorporate the distinctive factors of the site into their tourism offer;
• Personal, organizational or strategic factors impacting innovation and/or performance;
• How local knowledge is managed;
• The basis for the competitiveness of these entrepreneurs and their destinations, with particular attention to how it is transformed into innovation and new tourism products;
• The innovation and ‘spillover effect’ from the most active entrepreneurs to the other companies through imitation, training, or collaborative development processes.
This Topic has been realized in collaboration with Dr. Mafalda Patuleia, Associate Professor at the Universidade Lusófona (ORCID ID: 0000-0002-8401-1860)
Image credit: Pixabay
Keywords: innovation, knowledge management, local knowledge, competitiveness, innovation spillover
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