The Influence of Social Entrepreneurship in Tourism on an Arab Village in Israel

Alexandra Stenvall, Daniel Laven, and Alon Gelbman

Abstract This chapter explores how social entrepreneurship in tourism can convey societal benefits in an underserved Arab community in Israel. This analysis draws from three theoretical perspectives (i) social sustainability, (ii) theories associated with tourism, development, and economic empowerment, and (iii) the growing body of scholarship on tourism and peace-building efforts, and also includes an empirical case study situated in the Israeli village of Jisr-az Zarqa. The study focuses on the development of the village’s first commercial guest house, which is operated through a special Arab-Jewish partnership. This study employed qualitative research methods such as participant observation and in-depth, open-ended interviews. Findings revealed three categories associated with the influence of social entrepreneurship in tourism in Jisr az-Zarqa. The first category is largely descriptive and identifies the barriers to tourism development in the village. The second category analyzes the role of social entrepreneurship in tourism through the special Arab-Jewish business partnership that operates the guesthouse. The third category offers insights into the impacts associated with Jisr az-Zarq’s first commercial guesthouse.

Keywords Social entrepreneurship in tourism • Community-based tourism • Arab- Jewish tourism partnership in Israel • Jisr az-Zarqa

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