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Seasonal trading and lifestyle motivation: experiences of small tourism businesses in Scotland

Goulding, Philip J.J. and Baum, T.G. and Morrison, Alison J. (2005) Seasonal trading and lifestyle motivation: experiences of small tourism businesses in Scotland. Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality and Tourism, 5 (2-4). pp. 209-238. ISSN 1528-008X

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Abstract

This article explores relationships between tourism seasonality and the lifestyle motivations of small tourism businesses, fundamentally a supply-side perspective of seasonality. Seasonal trading decisions are subject to a number of influences, not all of which are in the operator's control. Drawing from exploratory research undertaken in Scotland, the article argues that for some operators, especially located in rural and peripheral destination areas, lifestyle enterprise can confer a range of benefits, some of which are afforded by operating the business on a seasonal basis. Moreover, seasonal trading was seen to assume a number of distinct roles, reflecting various characteristics of lifestyle operators. Accordingly, public policies that seek to promote seasonal extension based on the premise of local economic development or destination objectives are not necessarily destined to work. This is particularly pertinent if such policies do not recognise the wider supply-side dynamics of seasonal trading and fail to engage with the lifestyle aspirations of the operators themselves.