Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management., Sociology, Cultural and economic geography

Publication Details

The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Available from:


A relatively small body of literature in tourism which concentrates on the issues of small firms and entrepreneurs and ‘this area of inquiry is vastly under-researched’ (Thomas, 2004, p.1). A key piece of research (Rimmington et al, 1999) classifies entrepreneurs in the tourism sector and one category which has received research attention has been that of lifestyle entrepreneurs. This article outlines the literature on lifestyle entrepreneurs and concludes that much of the focus to date has been on the individual entrepreneur. This current paper investigates how lifestyle entrepreneurs interact with other entrepreneurs in the destination in which they operate, and their involvement in the local dynamics of the place. The area studied in this regard is Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland. Rather than focussing within the boundaries of the firm, the attention here is on the interaction between firms and within the destination. As such, the research makes a significant contribution to the debate on lifestyle entrepreneurs. Section one discusses the literature on lifestyle entrepreneurs and the nature of inter-firm relations, section two outlines the research objectives and the methodology, while section three describes the place of study, Westport, Ireland. This is followed by section four which outlines and analyzes the findings of the research, and finally the conclusion questions what contribution this research makes to the literature and our understanding of lifestyle entrepreneurs.