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Family businesses (FB), mostly small-sized, dominate the tourism and hospitality industry (THI), especially in the rural areas. While many would have been used to the impact of demand seasonality, it is unknown how these businesses would have survived through the restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic as compared to non-family business (NFB) counterparts. This study aims to determine if there were differences on how family and non-family enterprises in the THI coped with government restrictions.Design/methodology/approachBy subjecting the survey data from tourism enterprises to non-parametric techniques, the authors establish empirical evidence on similarities and differences of coping strategies adopted by FBs and NFBs; their required support from government and their perceptions of a post-pandemic THI.FindingsThe analysis revealed that family-owned tourism and hospitality businesses in the Philippines tended to collaborate with other businesses to manage the impact of the pandemic restrictions. Since they hired more seasonal workers prior to the restrictions, they tended to avoid hiring workers during the restricted period. NFBs, on the other hand, that were generally larger in size and more professionally managed with more regular employees, tended to streamline operations for greater efficiency.Research limitations/implicationsThe study relied on survey results distributed and collected online. There is an innate bias against those firms that did not have access to the survey links.Practical implicationsThe comparative study suggests that interventions to assist firms in the THI should consider the differences in firm ownership as “one size does not fit all.”Social implicationsThe study provides evidence about how environmental factors impact the operations of family firms. Thus, it provides valuable insights for both the academic community and industry practitioners.Originality/valueThis is the first study in the Philippines that was able to capture response of family and non-family firms in the THI during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Journal of Family Business Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 29, 2022
Keywords: Family business; Coping mechanism; COVID-19; Philippines; Asia; Tourism and hospitality industry
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