The Macro Context for Entrepreneurship in Tourism: A Review of Emerging Trends


  • Maria Teresa Costa School of Business Administration – Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal (IPS), Portugal
  • Maria Lurdes Calisto Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies (ESHTE), Portugal
  • Ana Teresa Machado Centre for Tourism Research, Development, and Innovation (CiTUR), Portugal
  • Zélia Santos School of Communication and media studies – Politécnico de Lisboa (IPL)
  • Sandra Nunes NOVA MATH – Center for Mathematics and Applications, Portugal
  • Filipe Severino Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies (ESHTE), Portugal



Entrepreneurship, Tourism, Hospitality, Trends, Macroenvironment, External environment


Tourism has an enormous economic and employment potential, which, at least until 2019, encouraged many countries to develop their tourism offer and attract more tourists. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened, and nowadays, Europe, the most important tourism destination in the world, faces a new war and refugee crisis. Tourism is an activity that propels the economy and job creation internationally; nevertheless, the activity is vulnerable to macro environment events. Both aspects are crucial issues for tourism entrepreneurs. Therefore, it is relevant to understand the emerging trends that entrepreneurs may face. Based on a systematic literature review, this paper aims to identify the major macro-environmental factors that impact tourism activity by answering the following research question: What contextual factors should entrepreneurs expect to impact their businesses? A systematic literature review was conducted in three steps: 1) selection of the relevant sources (on WoS and Scopus-indexed journals) using appropriate selection criteria that fitted the research questions; 2) assessment of the selected articles according to exclusion criteria to reach a final sample of articles; 3) full analysis of the base of final articles to identify emerging trends associated to relevant contextual factors. Results suggest that political-legal, technological, sociocultural, and sustainability-related factors have been the most relevant ones. This study has relevant contributions to practice since it highlights what entrepreneurs should expect from the macro environment. It also contributes to tourism literature by opening new lines of research and synthesising the trends impacting tourism activity.