Foreign monopoly and local disappointment in a small-scale tourism community: The case of Las Peñitas, Nicaragua

Samantha Zuidam, Carel Roessingh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article describes how small entrepreneurs in the tourism industry of Las Peñitas, Nicaragua, try to cope with contextual changes caused by the development of tourism. The research method for this article is ethnographic. During the fieldwork in Las Peñitas, multi-qualitative research methods have been used, like participant observation and interviews. Hoping to obtain a substantial share of the income-growth derived from the new industry, part of the local population shifted from their previous jobs to professions in the tourism industry. Most local entrepreneurs, however, are hesitant to change industry from mainly fishing to tourism. Due to their economic and cultural advantage, some foreign entrepreneurs appear to quickly achieve monopoly positions in the local tourism industry. This increases frustration among local entrepreneurs about stagnating local economic growth, while watching foreign entrepreneurs run more successful businesses. Previous studies showed that tourism is booming in Nicaragua, but the actual impact on the local economy lacks empirical support. The case study of Las Peñitas is used to explore the impact of tourism on the cultural change of small tourism entrepreneurs and tell the stories of what happens behind the successful appearance of global tourism growth figures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-189
Number of pages19
JournalInternational journal of business and globalisation
Issue number2
Early online date10 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Cultural change
  • Local and foreign entrepreneurs
  • Nicaragua
  • Tourism community


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