Olives, hospitality and tourism: a Western Australian perspective
Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
The purpose of this paper is to examine the links between olive growing, hospitality and tourism in an emerging olive growing region, as well as challenges olive grove operators face. A qualitative approach is taken in the form of face-to-face and telephone interviews among 23 olive grove operators in Western Australia from a sample of 33 operations identified. Almost half of the respondents indicated being open to the public in some form, including ellar door sales and hospitality facilities, such as a cafe´. Other respondents are currently in the process of developing hospitality facilities or plan to be associated to tourism. However, some responses identified existing marketing issues and outside competition from cheaper products as current constraints. That only 23 respondents participated in the study does clearly limit the generalisability of the findings in regards to olive growing in Western Australian or elsewhere. Despite this limitation, this exploratory study provides first insights into an unexplored emerging and increasingly multifunctional industry. Practical implications – In view of some operators’ concerns of being able to market their products in the future, the findings illustrate that the mix of strategies combining the olive products, hospitality and/or tourism could have several positive impacts on this emerging industry for those operators willing and able to pursue such paths. The current developmental stage of olive growing and its potential for further extending into “olive tourism” or related concepts suggests opportunities for future research.