|Title:||A study of home-stay in Ghana : improving small and medium tourism enterprise (SMTE) performance within a sustainable development framework|
|Advisors:||Suntikul, Wantanee (SHTM)|
McKercher, Bob (SHTM)
|Subject:||Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations|
Bed and breakfast accommodations -- Ghana
Hotel management -- Ghana
Hospitality industry -- Management -- Ghana
|Department:||School of Hotel and Tourism Management|
|Pages:||xv, 294 pages : illustrations|
|Abstract:||The performance issues of small and medium tourism enterprises (SMTEs) are multi-dimensional, cutting across economic, social, cultural and environmental issues. Given this multi-dimensional nature, a sustainable development approach that integrates all issues is crucial to propose holistic strategies to address SMTE performance. However, to achieve a sustainable performance of SMTEs such as a home-stay, it is pertinent that owners are fully aware, concerned, willing and practising sustainability. Little however is known about awareness of this relationship and practices among SMTEs. This thesis examines how the Ghanaian home-stay sector can perform better within a sustainable development framework. An exploratory, sequential and convergent parallel mixed methods were used, leading to the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data. The qualitative data involved structured interviews with 26 home-stay owners in southern Ghana. Following this qualitative data, a quantitative survey of 118 home-stay owners was undertaken in both southern and northern Ghana. Since the qualitative data explored owner sustainability knowledge, three knowledge groups were identified -"Don't know", "Have heard" and "Superficial", using the Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) Miner software. While many of the owners have heard of the term, at best only seven (27%) out of 26 owners had any basic knowledge of the term. Nonetheless, they all seem to be practising certain dimensions of sustainability to a greater or lesser extent often because of pragmatic reasons to save cost, legitimise their relationship with other stakeholders and for lifestyle reasons. Further analysis of the owners' care and willingness indicate that, home-stay owners are concerned and are willing to be sustainable even if they have limited knowledge of the concept. The owner concern and willingness can be explained by the motives behind their actions and these motives are connected to their business characteristics. Three motives for engaging in sustainability were identified: lifestyle, cost reduction and societal legitimization.|
Based on the literature argument that business reasons play a role in sustainability practices supported by the study objectives, business reason variables were used to investigate further the different sustainability practices among owners using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) software. Thus, using business reason variables, the quantitative section clustered respondents into four groups of "Income seekers", "Social interaction seekers", "Culture exchange seekers" and "Altruism seekers". The results showed that all four groups, to some extent apply sustainability practices specifically social, cultural, and environmental actions and such practices were not significantly different among the identified groups. For the most part, there is no clear-cut role of business reasons on sustainability application. Thus, owners' business reasons do not always play a significant role in their practice such that those owners with income seeking reasons were not applying economic sustainability practices even though they applied socio-cultural actions. The quantitative results revealed five broad performance issues, viz. improper guest behaviour/attitude (48.1%), community related issues (23.7%), owner personal issues (22.9%), NGOs and government related issues (9.3%) which were not significantly different for home-stay owners with different start-up reasons (i.e. Income seekers, Social interaction seekers, Culture exchange seekers and Altruism seekers). The results show that there are certain performance issues all owners (i.e. "Income seekers", "Social interaction seekers", "Culture exchange seekers" and "Altruism seekers") are capable of addressing and those they cannot address. Capable actions include educating clients on culture differences, providing mosquito nets, and providing alternative local foods to enhance cultural experiences. Most of these actions were simple and socio-culturally oriented. However, there were certain constraints that owners felt they were not capable of addressing - examples are community-wide issues such as potable water, unreliable electricity and NGO issues such as inadequate payment. Further analysis of obstacles revealed that there are no major obstacles to addressing the performance constraints raised by all owners (i.e. income seekers, social interaction seekers, culture exchange seekers and altruism seekers). Nevertheless, some minor social (e.g. gender issues and clients dissatisfaction) and economic (e.g. difficulty in accessing loans) obstacles need to be overcome. Based on the preceding constraints raised, strategies suggested include sustainability orientation of the home-stay clients by NGOs and sustainability education and training of home-stay owners by the Ghana Tourism Authority. A research framework is developed to explain the range of factors on how the home-stay sector can perform better within a sustainable development framework. In addition, implications of the study findings to tourism practitioners and academia seeking to apply sustainable development at the micro level are discussed.
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