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Overview of Innovation for Sustainable Tourism

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Overview of Innovation for Sustainable Tourism
Jack Carlsen, Janne Liburd, Deborah Edwards and Paddy Forde
The case studies and analysis in this publication describe the different forms of
innovation that have been adopted in tourism as part of the transformation toward
sustainability (Liburd and Carlsen 2006). The overall objective is to provide a deeper
understanding of the systems of innovation in sustainable tourism by describing,
discussing and analysing the drivers, barriers, processes and networks in ten cases. It
is apparent that no agreed definition or categorisation system for innovation in
sustainable tourism exists, nor is there consensus on the underlying factors that drive
innovation. Hjalager (1997) has proposed a typology based on patterns of innovation
in tourism products, processes, management, logistics and institutions and has more
recently identified driving forces for innovation in Nordic tourism (Hjalager et al 2008).
Innovation is a catalytic development process that activates a number of processes
and is disseminated among individuals who take up new practices or adjust them
according to the new situation. According to Trott (1998:11) innovation is social as
“not a single action but a total process of interrelated sub processes. It is not just the
conception of a new idea, nor the invention of a new device, nor the development of a
new market”. Innovation is indeed a “broad concept that has been defined using many
approaches” (Breen et al 2006:6). What some classify as innovation, others may
dismiss as imitation or adaptation of existing knowledge or ideas. True innovation in
tourism businesses is nebulous and often inspired by external forces such as changing
customer needs, demographics, technology, government policy, environmental
conditions or social imperatives. It can take the form of product, process,
management, logistics or institutional innovations (Hjalager 1996) and may be a
disruptive or an incremental process (Schaper and Volery 2007).

About pfiddle

Fiddle teacher - mostly Irish trad. Fiddle, mandolin and concertina. Eco-warrior, won E.U. Green Flower Award for Eco Accommodation. Also Irish (Gold) GHA. Green Hospitality Award. Mad keen on self-build - especially straw-bale and cob. 55 with a full head of (slightly) graying hair. No tattoos or piercings. Fond of animals - but legally so. Fond of food - I eat nothing else. Vegetarian by choice, Irish by the grace of birth, Munster by force of (rugby) arms.

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