Purpose The aim of this paper is to analyse the motives and the socio-economic profile of bed and breakfast (B&B) and vacation home owners in the tourism industry. Design/methodology/approach The first part of the paper provides a literature review of types of entrepreneurship as described in tourism and leisure research. The second part presents a survey which was carried out in 2006 in the Austrian province of Vorarlberg to assess owner-managers' perception of entrepreneurial activities (n=246). Findings The data do reveal the motives which drive these owners or entrepreneurs and highlight why vacation homes are going to be a growing field of accommodation in the tourism industry. The findings show that the B&B business model can be interpreted as a market entrance model, while owner-managers change towards vacation homes after approximately five years of firm existence. Research limitations/implications It is argued that some stakeholder groups within an enterprise, such as young trainees or apprentices, might have deeper insights into entrepreneurial processes and leadership skills. However, more research is needed to analyse the supply side of vacation homes and B&Bs because the owner-manager is still a neglected area of tourism research. The study is limited by its focus on one specific region, the province of Vorarlberg in Western Austria, a region of rural and Alpine nature. Originality/value A decrease in B&B firms can be forecast for Western Austria. Owner-managers should be aware of recent tourism developments and need to investigate how and to what extent value might be added to or subtracted from their businesses. For tourism policy is it of the utmost importance to learn more about owner-managers' motivations to run their businesses and to maintain a certain quality of the vacation home supply.
- Tourism management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management