The Perceptions of Small Business Owners on Tourism Development in the Blackstone Valley, Rhode Island


The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council (BVTC), a state designated council to promote tourism in the Blackstone Valley, Rhode Island, has led tourism development efforts for two decades to revitalize the economics and livability of place. This study examines the perception of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in juxtaposition to the macro-regional level of tourism development as lead by the BVTC. Local SMEs foresee business opportunities via tourism, yet often do not fully recognize their potential role within it. Local government and the notion of civic tourism are also examined to further understand this gap. The study concludes that local community involvement still remains in the realm of participation rather than empowerment. Thus, the BVTC is being sought for a more innovative and strategic role to develop and manage tourism assets instead of the implementer role traditional tourism organizations engage in.

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MENDLINGER, S. , MIYAKE, M. and BILLINGTON, R. (2009) The Perceptions of Small Business Owners on Tourism Development in the Blackstone Valley, Rhode Island. Journal of Service Science and Management, 2, 137-148. doi: 10.4236/jssm.2009.23017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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