Conferences, 4Rs 2008

Font Size: 
Accessible tourism and community based entrepreneurship - the case of O'Carolyns at Port Stephens
Simon Darcy, Bruce Cameron

Last modified: 2008-08-31


This paper examines the case of O'Carolyns at Port Stephens,
which is a niche tourist resort based on universal design principles for
access and disability. The paper employs a mixed methodology case study to
examine the business case for accessible tourism. The research design
involved reviewing management information systems, websites, external
reviews (blogs) and in-depth interviews with the operator. First, the paper
examines the infrastructure requirements for accessible tourism through
universal design within a tourist resort settings (Darcy 2007; Rains 2004;
US Dept Justice 2007 ). Second, the paper reviews the market that the resort
serves and what defines the business as serving the accessible tourism
market. Third, using an adaption of the concept of community-based
entrepreneurship (Johannisson 1990; Johannisson & Nilsson 1989), the paper
reviews how the operator has placed the product within the regional
development framework of Port Stephens through community interaction across
the commercial, government and not-for-profit sectors. What becomes evident
is that the niche operator's success is driven by the desire to "act locally
but think globally" through working together to facilitate regional tourism
development (Dredge & Jenkins 2003; Lyons 2001). In defining community-based
entrepreneurship as "a community acting corporately as both entrepreneur and
enterprise in pursuit of the common good" (Peredo & Chrisman 2006, p. 310),
the paper examines the complexity of business success being parallel to
community integration. The findings suggest that to have an accessible
accommodation is only the starting point to having a successful accessible
tourism enterprise as customers are seeking the quintessential regional
experiences that anybody wants when travelling to the regional the
destination area. Yet, to achieve this requires the operator to interact
with all sectors of the community to collaboratively develop an
understanding of what constitutes accessible experiences and the benefits
that the community receive when welcoming tourists with access needs.

Conference registration is required in order to view papers.