A relatively small body of literature in tourism concentrates on the issues of small firms and entrepreneurs and 'this area of inquiry is vastly under-researched' (Thomas, 2004, p 1). A key piece of research (Rimmington et al, 1999) classifies entrepreneurs in the tourism sector, and one category that has received research attention has been that of lifestyle entrepreneurs. This article outlines the literature on lifestyle entrepreneurs and concludes that much of the focus to date has been on the individual entrepreneur. The paper investigates how lifestyle entrepreneurs interact with other entrepreneurs in the location where they operate, and their involvement in the local dynamics of the place. The area studied in this regard is Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland. Rather than focusing within the boundaries of the firm, the attention here is on the interaction between firms and within the location. The first section discusses the literature on lifestyle entrepreneurs and the nature of inter-firm relations; the second outlines the research objectives and the methodology; the third describes the location of the study; and the fourth outlines and analyses the findings of the research. In conclusion, the author considers what contribution this research makes to the literature and understanding of lifestyle entrepreneurs.
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