2021 journal article
Craft beverage tourism development: The contributions of social capital
Journal of Destination Marketing & Management.
This study investigates the role that social capital plays in synergizing two growing components of economic development for many communities - the tourism and craft beverage industries. By focusing on an emerging craft beverage tourism destination, Wake County in North Carolina (United States), this study illustrates the economic development outcomes that can be generated by craft beverage tourism and the forms of social capital needed to establish and sustain this type of niche tourism. Thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with 30 stakeholders revealed that craft beverage tourism contributes to economic development outcomes such as: (1) community capacity, (2) firm and industry capacity, (3) entrepreneurial activity, and (4) innovative infrastructure. Both bridging and bonding social capital supported these outcomes in the forms of (1) collaboration among stakeholders, (2) support for new members of the industry, (3) craft beverage stakeholders' involvement with the community, and (4) creation of a craft beverage destination. Results indicate that bonding social capital is a crucial resource for establishing and sustaining Wake County's craft beverage industry and its development as a craft beverage destination. However, there is only limited utilization of bridging social capital in efforts to advance craft beverage tourism development. Collectively, these findings outline the economic development benefits of craft beverage tourism and the social capital resources needed to achieve those benefits. These insights can facilitate the development of CBT products.