Innovation in the Norwegian tourism industry

Tina Nygård

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate what effect a change in the understanding of innovation can have for the measurement of innovation in the Norwegian tourism industry. The problem is approached applying both quantitative and qualitative methods. The literature review explores the innovation theory related to services and shows that the concept of innovation is complicated by various and competing theoretical approaches. Innovation in tourism is defined as a new product, service or production process, application or form of organization that creates or is expected to create financial gains for a company. For the purpose of exploring the research topic, analyses of the Norwegian innovation survey (2008-2010), and a thematic document analysis of the Norwegian Tourism Strategy (2012), are conducted in an attempt to illuminate some areas of discrepancies. Main findings show that the apparent misconception of innovation in the tourism industry hinders the Norwegian innovation survey in measuring all innovational activities; This includes product, process, market and organizational innovations. Innovation in the tourism industry is labeled as a low-innovator. The innovation concept is therefore becoming an increasingly important topic for policy makers due its wide recognition as a possible approach to increase the competitiveness of products/services and destinations. As innovation is argued to be a key element in wealth and value creation, this thesis contributes to service innovation literature by showing to areas for further research that can potentially increase the measured innovativeness in the Norwegian tourism industry. It is proposed to conduct further research on uncovering the meaning of innovation from the tourism industry’s perspective in an effort to locate if and where there are ‘hidden’ innovations. Another suggested area for further research is to locate the apparent communication gap between R&D and consultancy firms, and the tourism industry, in an attempt to better translate academic research in to practical know-how, to stimulate to more innovational activity.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages89