Destination Development and the Tourist Life-cycle: Implications for Entrepreneurship in Alpine Tourism
KLAUS WEIERMAIR, MIKE PETERS and MARKUS SCHUCKERT
The so called ‘new age of tourism' influenced the entrepreneurial paradigm considerably. The traditional model of mass tourism changed into a ‘new tourism' which is presumably characterized by quality seeking customers with multi-optional needs, new production factors (such as information technologies), new business models and new management processes. The aim of this paper is to investigate the relvance of the tourist life-cycle model in deriving implicatons for entrepreneurship within tourism destinations. The literature review reveals a research gap in the field of entrepreneurial strategy options and the execution of operational strategies in tourism destinations. Thus, the paper starts with a short overview of the driving forces of business growth in Alpine tourism. Further, it is argued that the development of Alpine tourism has created a special environment for entrepreneurs in tourism destinations. The second part of the paper, therefore, provides a literature review of tourist life-cycle research. In the next step, the authors attempt to describe specific challenges and qualifications needed for tourism entrepreneurs along the various phases of the destinatoin life-cycle. The paper concludes with recommendations for entrepreneurship development, while making a conribution to research on tourism destinations.
Keywords: tourism entrepreneurship; destination life-cycle; Alpine tourism; SMTEs.