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Innovation typology in tourism

patents appear to be an indicator of innovative performance that is related to inventions and that does not include all sectors in the economy.

Similarly, other indicators such as patent citations and publications also provide information about innovation performance. However, these types of bibliometric statistics are mainly related to science-based research (Smith 2005). Consequently, they do not cover all innovations in the market and seldom provide information about their implementation or economical significance.

The advantages of input-output indicators are that they can be collected over long time periods and that they measure the results of innovative performance. At national and international level, input-output indicators provide data over different periods, which makes possible the analysis of the innovation trajectory in industries. Besides, the results of innovative performance can be obtained by combining investments in the development of innovations and the outcomes of sales.

However, input-output indicators have several limitations. They habitually do not take into consideration other factors relative to innovation such as the acquisition, production and diffusion of knowledge and skills, which are difficult to measure through economical values. Furthermore, they do not measure other intangible determinants of innovation, such as linkages with the environment, interactive learning or the cumulative character of innovative activity. Consequently, incremental changes are seldom regarded. Therefore, input-output measurement methods based on R&D and patents are above all not suited for tourism and other services industries, where incremental, intangible innovations that emerge from the interaction between individuals play a major role. In the tourism industry, other types of indicators should be developed, which reflect the process of innovation, rather than only the investments and the results of innovative performance.

Innovation Surveys

Although innovation surveys can also include input-output indicators, they habitually take into consideration other determinants of innovation as well. They can be separated in two different types of surveys, those based on the “subject” approach and those on the “object” approach. The first type of surveys takes firms as the subject of study, while the latter is based on significant technological innovations.

First, surveys that apply the “subject” approach gather information about the innovative activities of firms (OECD 2005). Thus, they focus on the organizational level (Archibugi and Pianta 1996). These types of surveys collect information about the factors that enhance innovation as well as the outputs of innovation. Nevertheless, they do not only focus on R&D inputs. They consider other non-R&D innovation sources as well. Besides, product innovations are the outputs that are easier to identify. Nevertheless, other types of innovations can also be taken into consideration in these surveys, such as process, marketing and organizational innovations.

The “subject” approach has been the method used to gather data on innovation in OECD countries (OECD 2005). Through the Oslo Manual (OECD 2005), the OECD provides the guidelines to collect data on innovation activities. The objective of the


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