Local Tourism Businesses in Indonesia

A Pathway to Crisis Resilient Development?


  • Heidi Dahles Griffith University, Australia
  • Titi Susilowati Prabawa Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana, Indonesia
  • Juliette Koning Oxford Brookes University, UK




Embeddedness Framework, Indonesia, Silver Souvenir Industry, Small Business, Sustainable Development Goals


The aim of this paper is to explore ways in which small tourism-based enterprises can offer a crisis-resilient pathway to sustainable development. Based on a mixed-embeddedness framework, this paper explores the multiple strategies that small enterprises in the silver souvenir industry of Kotagede (Yogyakarta, Indonesia) applied to cope with hardship during the Indonesian decade of crisis (1996-2006). The data on which this paper builds stem from qualitative research conducted in Yogyakarta over a time span of 20 years. This paper makes two contributions to the current literature. The first contribution is to offer empirical, longitudinal, primary data on small-firm performances against the background of fluctuations in the tourism industry. The second contribution is conceptual, arguing that an embeddedness approach, sensitive to location-specific characteristics, promises a better understanding of small tourism enterprises as crisis-resilient development path- ways. In doing so, this paper also asserts that small businesses, due to their embeddedness in household economies and subcontracting arrangements that include rural labor, have the capacity to become agents of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Author Biographies

Heidi Dahles, Griffith University, Australia

Heidi Dahles, PhD, is adjunct professor at the Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT), Griffith University, Brisbane (Australia), and visiting professor at the Cambodia Development Resources Institute (CDRI). Her research interest is in the interface of development, entrepreneurship, and tourism in Southeast Asia. She published over 40 chapters in edited volumes and 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Asia-Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, Journal of Contemporary Asia. Dahles actively engages with academic journals in the field of tourism and business as editorial board member and reviewer.

Titi Susilowati Prabawa, Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana, Indonesia

Titi Susilowati Prabawa is a senior lecturer at the Development Studies Department and the  Dean of Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies at Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana, Salatiga, Central Java (Indonesia). She holds a PhD from the Department of Culture, Organisation and Management (COM) at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. She focuses on qualitative research in sustainable tourism development, entrepreneurship, small business organization, and livelihood. She has published in international academic journals such as Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, and Asia Pacific Business Review.

Juliette Koning, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Juliette Koning is professor in Organizational Studies and Director of the Centre for Business, Society and Global Challenges at Oxford Brookes Business School, Oxford Brookes University (UK). She holds a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on small business organizations in Southeast Asia; the organization of security in Indonesia and South Africa; and qualitative research, particularly ethnography and creative approaches. Her work has been published in such journals such as Entrepreneurship, Theory & Practice; Organization Studies; Entrepreneurship & Regional Development. She recently co-edited New Religiosities, Modern Capitalism and Moral Complexities in Southeast Asia (Palgrave).


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