• Community Sense of Place Community Sense of Place Tourism Impacts and Second Home Development: A Sustainable Approach
  • Climate, Weather, and Tourism Climate, Weather, and Tourism Tourism destinations and their individual tourism businesses are all vying for tourists at their respective locations.
  • Engagement and Community Engagement and Community In partnership with the Office of Engagement, Innovation, and Economic Development.
  • Rural Tourism Rural Tourism Sustaining rural America is one of today's pressing issues.
  • RESET RESET Race, Ethnicity, and Social Equity in Tourism
  • US Travel Care Code US Travel Care Code The United States Travel Care Code has been developed and is managed by the Center for Sustainable Tourism.
  • RETI RETI The Renewable Energy in Tourism Initiative
  • Tourism and Entrepreneurship Tourism and Entrepreneurship Developing the local tourism industry as part of an economic development strategy.

Tourism and Entrepreneurship

Many rural economies have historical, cultural, natural, and recreational assets that can be used in developing their local tourism industry as part of an economic development strategy. In fact, the relationship between entrepreneurship and tourism can be an important indicator of a healthy rural economy. A clear understanding of the influence that a community's entrepreneurial "ecosystem" has on tourism development has not yet been established. Identifying factors that shape a favorable tourism entrepreneurship ecosystem will make it easier to understand why some rural communities thrive while others struggle. It will also assist in identifying best practices and will aid in creating models for the purpose of planning entrepreneurial activity, facilitating a culture of innovations and creativity in communities that adopt them.

To support the efforts of the many small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures that are encompassed in rural tourism, the Center's Tourism and Entrepreneurship Program focuses on two streams of activity: assessing entrepreneurial ecosystems and interviewing food and tourism entrepreneurs throughout the state.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

The Center is testing an instrument to capture resident perceptions of their community's entrepreneurial ecosystem. This survey tool, in addition to interviews with entrepreneurs and analysis of secondary data, can yield a comprehensive assessment of a community's entrepreneurial ecosystem. If you are interested in finding out more about your community's ecosystem, please contact Carol Kline at klinec@ecu.edu.

North Carolina Food and Tourism Entrepreneurs

A series of qualitative interviews with private sector and social entrepreneurs about their own characteristics and motivations, as well as the challenges and supporting elements within their ecosystem. Through the long-term production of these interviews, a databank of qualitative information about entrepreneurship will be amassed.

Entrepreneur Profiles

The "Food and Tourism Entrepreneurs in NC" interviews are conducted in partnership with Neha Shah, Director of the Pittsboro-Siler City Visitor Bureau. Thank you to profile writers Annette Cook, Sierra Jones, Leah Joyner, Carol Kline, Heather Rubright, Neha Shah, and Jerry Tsao.

Kristina Ayres

T & E Kristina profile

Tourism Development Authority, Duplin County

Sandi Kronick

T&E sandi2010

Eastern Carolina Organics

Mary Betty Kearney

T&E Mary betty

Nooherooka Natural Farm and The Benjamin W. Best Inn

Jane Howard & Matthew Daniels

t&E jane matthew 2

Triangle Raw Foods

Vince Chelena

T&E Vince

The Management Office, Charlotte

Daniel Whittaker

T&E Daniel photo

Green Planet Catering & Whittaker Consultin

Martha Glass

T&E Martha

Agritourism Office at NC Department of Agriculture

Sean Lilly Wilson

T&E Sean pic

Fullsteam Brewery

Angelina Koulizakis & John Battiste

T&E Angelina

Angelina’s Kitchen, Owner

Cheryl Ferguson & Ray Tuegel

Cheryl and Ray New

Plum Granny Farm, Owners

Chris Cavanaugh

Chris Cavanaugh

Magellan Strategy Group






Joel Friedman

Joel Friedman

Zuma Coffee & Zuma Cookie Company, Owner

Sustainable Tourism | Tourism and Entrepreneurship

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