Innovation and Growth in Tourism: Conference Papers


Conference on Innovation and Growth in Tourism
Hosted by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Lugano, Switzerland
18-19 September 2003  
The objectives of the conference were to learn more about the characteristics and dynamics of the innovation process in tourism; to deepen mutual understanding into current practices of the industry and strategies of governments aiming to enhance innovation and co-operation processes in tourism (innovation in the field of product and marketing, how to rejuvenate the offer); and to exchange views on policies and initiatives to put in place to promote innovation in the tourism industry.

The conference papers are available below.

Conceptual Issues Regarding the Dynamics and Characteristics of Innovation in Tourism

  • Innovation and Economic Growth
    Nathan Rosenberg
    Professor of Economics (Emeritus), Stanford University
    This paper illustrates why technological innovation is considered as a major force in economic growth and focuses on some of the most distinctive features of innovation in the highly industrialized economies of the OECD area. In particular, the paper attempts to examine a primary single feature, “uncertainty” that dominates the search for new technologies by drawing several cases on the American experience. It also touches on the impact of technological innovation in the tourism industry and how it is transforming the tourism business model.
  • A Conceptual and Dynamic Approach to Innovation in Tourism
    Xavier Decelle
    Maître de Conférences
    Institut de Recherches et d'Etudes Supérieures du Tourisme (IREST)
    Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
    The importance of innovation was long underestimated in service activities. In contrast to the radical innovations vital to growth in manufacturing sectors, innovations in services and tourism were secondary and capital-scarce, and for this reason they were excluded from the scope of government interest and action. It is interesting to note that the discourse changed with the emergence of new information and communication technologies (NICT), which have been especially influential in the realm of tourism. The dissemination of new modes of production and the resulting organisational shock waves, along with the marketing adjustments this has entailed, have been the subject of much research. Yet the issues involved in innovation in tourism are not confined to the information revolution, and many other questions remain.
  • Product Improvement or Innovation: What is the Key to Success in Tourism?
    Klaus Weiermair
    Professor and Head of Centre for Tourism and Service Economics
    University of Innsbruck
    This paper is built like a three–layered club house sandwich with the first layer providing some theoretical and conceptual insights regarding expected innovation behaviour in tourism based on available material in tourism and industrial economics. The second layer will provide empirical insights and/or testing regarding the causes and consequences of innovation and product development in tourism based on recent empirical research carried out at the Center for Tourism and Service Economics, University of Innsbruck, and interviews carried out by the author both in Europe and North America with various larger national and global tourism firms, e.g. tour operators, airlines and theme parks. Finally the last layer will draw some conclusions and discuss research results with respect to issues and prospects in tourism policy making.

National and Industry Practices Enhancing Innovation in Tourism

  • Has Innovation Become a Routine Practice that Enables Companies to Stay Ahead of the Competition in the Travel Industry?
    Martin Brackenbury
    President, International Federation of Tour Operators
    Chairman, World Tourism Organisation Business Council
    Chairman, Federation of Tour Operators (UK)
    Innovation is at the heart of any successful company’s agenda so it is very worthy of discussion on the role that innovation plays in securing competitiveness. This paper attempts to examine the ways in which tour operators – that is to say the assemblers of packages of travel and accommodation – have approached the issue of innovation and competitiveness. It also reviews, in particular, the fully vertically integrated groups involving travel agents, tour operators, airlines, incoming tour operating ground handlers, and accommodation (hotels, apartments and cruise ships). In addition this paper focuses on practical, structural and operational issues encountered by companies competing in this part of the tourism sector.
  • The French Initiative for Innovation in Tourism: How to Rejuvenate Supply and Increase the Productivity of the Tourism Sector?
    André-Jean Guerin
    Director, French Agency for Tourism Engineering (AFIT)
    This paper is divided into three parts. The first examines the forms of innovation in tourism. What is innovation in tourism? What are the innovations that have brought genuine changes in the sector? The second part indicates the governmental actions in several domains. The third part considers the structures, agencies and networks designed specifically to support the dissemination and use of innovation and the exchange of experiences.
  • Innovation in the Field of Market Communication and Marketing: The Australian Initiative
    Bob Pegler
    Minister-Counsellor, Permanent Delegation of Australia to the OECD
    In the last two decades, the Australian tourism industry has grown from a fledgling sector to one of the major industries. However, tourism has experienced difficult and challenging times of late. In the past 10 years the tourism industry also has faced the change of consumer demands, consumer demographics, increased competition and unstable global geopolitics. This paper examines the current challenges and barriers to the Australian tourism industry and attempts to reveal its innovative approach to cope with these recent challenges and barriers.
  • E-Tourism: An Innovative Approach for the Small and Medium-Sized Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs) in Korea
    Chulwon Kim
    Professor, College of Hotel & Tourism Management
    Kyunghee University, Korea
    This paper deals with e-tourism, innovation and growth. The Internet is revolutionising the distribution of tourism information and sales. The Korean small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMTEs) with well-developed and innovative Web sites can now have “equal Internet access” to international tourism markets. This paper examines problems and solutions related to electronic commerce in the tourism industry and suggests recommendations for successful e-commerce strategies in tourism to be applied by the industry and the government in Korea.

The Role of Tourism Policy in Innovation