a1 Duzce University, Akçakoca, Turkey
The objective of this study was to contribute to the understanding of small tourism businesses (STBs) through an analysis of selected aspects in an urban setting, namely Akçakoca, Turkey. Particular attention was given to the characteristics of businesses, finance, marketing, human resource management, involvement of residents in the industry and management of STBs. The study employed a comparative research methodology using a survey instrument similar to those used by Thomas et al. (1997) for a study of tourism and small business development in the United Kingdom in 1996, and by Page et al. (1999) for a similar study in New Zealand in 1997. A sample of 87 businesses in Akçakoca was examined and their role in tourism evaluated. The findings of this study reveal that STBs carry significant deficiencies and inadequacies and face a common set of problems. The contribution to comparative research methodologies to tourism studies was also considered.