Ecolodge Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets: A New Typology of Entrepreneurs; The Case of IRAN

Hojjat Varmazyari, Seyed Hamid Mirhadi, Marion Joppe, Khalil Kalantari, Alain Decrop

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This study aims to clarify how ecolodge entrepreneurship evolves from idea formation to ecolodge establishment in emerging markets. The related process affects authentic ecolodge development. The research employed grounded theory to explore this process and its implications to examine for the first time how individuals enter the ecolodge industry in an emerging market. The interaction of four constructs (namely drivers, motives, context, and idea sources) explains the costs and benefits that ecolodge entrepreneurs perceive in entering this industry. Moreover, we develop a new typology of tourism entrepreneurs in an ecolodge context based on the combined approach. Entrepreneurs are classified into three segments, including ecolodge lovers, cool job seekers, and young detached entrepreneurs. Although the ecolodge lovers were most in line with the principles of sustainable tourism and most likely to set up authentic ecolodges, most of the entrepreneurs belonged to the other two clusters. The explored process and typology highlight coordinated action in the development of ecolodges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8479
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • ecolodge
  • entrepreneurship
  • rural development
  • typology

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