Entrepreneurial ecosystems in tourism: An analysis of characteristics from a systems perspective





Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, Boundaries, Operations, Purposes, Qualitative Research, South Tyrol


This paper transfers the concept of entrepreneurial ecosystems (EEs) to tourism. First it investigates the characteristic of an EE in tourism by comparing it to an existing model. Second, the sector-specificity of the EE in tourism is discussed by referring to the system’s boundaries, operations and purposes, thus linking research on EEs in tourism more strongly to key concepts of systems theory. This is done by evaluating 19 interviews from South Tyrol in a qualitative approach using GABEK (Holistic Processing of Linguistic Complexity), which includes rule-based coding of interviews and visualisation of results in a network graph. Results show that the evaluated EE in tourism shares features familiar to EEs in other business sectors. This is an elevated role of long-standing entrepreneurs, social networks, governance, shared knowledge and learning. However, there are also tourism-specific features, such as culture and landscape, which directly provide resources for entrepreneurship. Governance does not emerge from the interaction of entrepreneurs, but from public bodies. The system’s output is not ambitious entrepreneurship, but innovative, sustainable and collective entrepreneurship. However, there is the need for further research to clearly determine the system’s sector specificity.




How to Cite

Bachinger, M., Kofler, I., & Pechlaner, H. (2022). Entrepreneurial ecosystems in tourism: An analysis of characteristics from a systems perspective. European Journal of Tourism Research, 31, 3113. https://doi.org/10.54055/ejtr.v31i.2490

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