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Innovation typology in tourism

manufacturing industries, but that the range of innovation processes should also include innovation activities developed in services. In this context, the manual indicates that innovation in services is less formalized and that incremental innovations play a major role. Besides, the Oslo Manual suggests that innovation surveys should adapt the provided guidelines to each study. Consequently, it may be necessary in some cases to focus on product and process innovations and to consider organizational and marketing innovations as subsidiaries, while in other surveys it may be required to regard the four innovation types. Regarding sources of innovation, the manual includes the production as well as the acquisition of innovations, which makes possible the identification of the type of innovative organization.

Apart from the Oslo Manual (OECD 2005), scholars have been recently aware of the relevance of innovation processes in the service sector as well. Accordingly, contributions on innovation indicators that include manufacturing as well as services have increased (see e.g. Brouwer and Kleinknecht 1997, Unger 2005, Smith 2005). Some of the objectives of these contributions are to develop meaningful indicators that are able to measure incremental changes, collaboration and interactive learning, and innovation activities carried out in SME’s.

With the aim of developing an appropriate framework for the measurement of innovative activities in tourism, some factors that have appeared several times during this work should be considered. These different aspects of innovation influence its measurement.

Thus, it is necessary to regard innovation as a complex process that involves different competences and the interaction with the environment. This implies that some determinants of innovation cannot be measured, at least not in economical terms. Nevertheless, they should be taken into consideration when measuring innovative activities. For instance, studies have usually focused on the measurement of codified knowledge, e.g. the acquisition of capital goods, such as equipment or machinery. However, innovation is also related to many sources of knowledge that can be tacit or codified. Consequently, appropriate indicators that measure the production and acquisition of tacit knowledge should be developed. These processes might be measured to some extent by expenditures on activities, such as implementation, development, training, market research, etc.

Regarding R&D activities in the tourism industry, these are few or non-existent. Most of R&D activities carried out in the sector are developed in universities and research centres.

Accordingly, the approach of this work is that innovation in tourism should not be measured through traditional input-outputs statistics, but on the basis of innovation activities. This approach is also supported by the fact that the results of innovation can only be identified once they exist. A study that only focuses on innovation results does not really measure innovative performance as a whole, but only successful innovations. Nevertheless, unsuccessful innovations as well as innovations in progress should be studied (OECD 2005). Despite the fact that unsuccessful innovations could not be implemented, they required several innovation activities, which indicates the innovative capacity of firms.


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