Promoting Rural Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Tourism Development: The Case of Battambang, Cambodia
Entrepreneurship in rural tourism has become an area of focus as it is a means to achieve sustainable rural development. The purpose of this study is to explore how tourism entrepreneurship could be encouraged in a rural community with suppliers, namely farmers and existing entrepreneurs. Taking a qualitative study approach, this study aims to gain insights of the current tourism entrepreneurship climate of one of Cambodia’s remote areas in Battambang, and to identify viable development strategies for rural tourism businesses. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 key informants from the local residents, governments and non-governmental organizations. The findings revealed the challenges perceived by the participating stakeholders. The underlying cause of low entrepreneurship initiatives is due to missed opportunities created by the lack of communication, the accessibility to the physical infrastructure, and partnership with the private sector. The study concluded with suggestions for future research and noted that promoting partnership and collaboration both within and beyond the Ek Phnom area would boost the entrepreneurship climate necessary for sustainable rural development.