What exactly is “innovation” in tourism?
Innovation is when members of this huge industry adopt new ideas; introduce improved ways of doing things; use new technology to do new things; offer new products; create new ways of organizing what they do, and that includes creating new kinds of jobs.
As GTTP students already know, GTTP stresses the importance of looking at what the industry does through the eyes of the customer. After all, it is the customer who makes the industry possible.
All of you have seen this list before, which lists the eight things travelers do before, during, and after they go on a trip. They are:
— Obtain Information.
— Select a destination.
— Make Reservations.
— Use Transport.
— Use accommodations.
— Eat food.
— Participate in entertainment and/or activities.
— Share the experience.
The list is also a way of summarizing what this giant industry does to make a living: it makes travel-related information available; offers destinations to choose from; provides a way to make reservations; offers transportation choices; accommodation choices; food choices, entertainment and activities. The tourist comes back home with a lot of experiences to share.
We suggest that you review the list of topics of what tourists do before, during and after they take a trip. Then think about the community or region you live in. Then pick one of the topics to research. Each one of them contains a cluster of innovative practices that the industry is either developing or learning how to manage…or you think they should develop.
For example, customer tastes are changing. This is requiring the industry to respond with innovative ideas for vacations. Changing technology is leading to the creation of small innovative companies that are then bought by bigger companies that want to use their innovations. Companies that provide accommodation are responding to competition from new companies that offer different kinds of accommodation.
Before You Begin Your Research
Initial Information Sources
https://www.wttc.org WTTC (The World Travel and Tourism Council) is probably the single largest source of reports on the economic and social impact of the industry. It publishes 24 regional reports, 184 country reports as well as a global report. It also publishes important reports on major issues that affect the industry and organizes conferences.
www.travelmole.com TravelMole.com and TravelMole.TV publish 15 enewsletters and broadcast videos to over 450,000 travel & tourism industry professionals and subscribers as well as 30 million consumers in 132 countries.
www.skift.com Skift means “shift” or “transformation” in the three Nordic languages. This online publication’s mission is to be “the daily homepage of the global travel industry.” It offers news, research and opinion, specialist newsletters, and organizes industry-related conferences.
http://www.gttp.org/partners/ Go the GTTP website and see what our Global Partners are doing; they are actively innovating in the ways they do business.
Previous Research Topics
The topic for 2017 was “Bleisure” Travel. This is a category of travel that describes travelers who are able to able to take business trips and add a day or two for leisure activities before returning home. The topic for 2016 was ”Heritage Tourism”; in 2015 it was “Sustainable Adventure Tourism,” and in 2014 it was “Technology and Sustainability.”
Be sure to read the article on How to Write a good Case Study in the Guidelines for the Research Award.
NOTE TO STUDENTS: Do not borrow images from the Internet unless the website states clearly that you may use the images. Taking images without permission is called “copyright infringement” and can result in expensive financial penalties. GTTP will remove images from case studies if it believes there may be a copyright problem.