Progress in Tourism Management

A review of innovation research in tourism

Anne-Mette Hjalager
University of Southern Denmark, Niels Bohrsvej 9-10, DK-6700 Esbjerg, Denmark

Progress in Tourism

 

Abstract

Over the past two decades, there has been increasing focus on the topic of innovation in tourism. This article reviews the research contributions. Various categories of innovation – product, process, managerial, marketing and institutional – are addressed.

Important determinants of innovation are acknowledged, including the role of entrepreneurship, technology push and the existence of territorial industry clusters.

Representation of knowledge is also identified as a critical factor for both the occurrence and nature of innovations.

The review reveals that there is still only limited systematic and comparable empirical evidence of the level of innovative activities and their impacts and wider implications for destinations and national economies.

An agenda for future research is emerging, suggesting that there is quest for both formal quantification and for qualitative studies of the foundations, processes, implications and policies of innovation in tourism.

Keywords: Innovation, Innovation systems, Knowledge, Clusters, Policy

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