The innovation journey of tourism entrepreneurs
Professor Allan Williams and Dr Vlatka Skokic of the University of Surrey and Dr Isabel Rodriguez of the University of Alicante awarded EU Marie Curie Research Fellowship.
Professor Allan Williams and Dr Vlatka Skokic of the University of Surrey and Dr Isabel Rodriguez of the University of Alicante have been awarded an EU Marie Curie Research Fellowship to conduct a two-year study that will contribute to bridging the gap between research on innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism, and tourism innovation policies. The main aim is to deepen understanding of the different stages of the innovation journey followed by entrepreneurs in tourism. It will examine not only the classic start up process, such as opportunity recognition, development and early implementation of innovation in the market, but also the subsequent stages of business performance (discontinuance, growth, further innovation, etc.).
The proposed study has three main objectives:
- To understand the innovation journey initiated by entrepreneurs in tourism in the contrasting economic, tourism and institutional environments of Spain and the UK. This mainly involves in-depth semi-structured interviews with samples of entrepreneurs
- To provide a longitudinal study of the outcome of innovation policies in Spain. A sample of young innovative tourism entrepreneurs were first interviewed in 2013-14, some two to three years after their initial establishment. They will be re-interviewed in 2016-7, that is after five to six years, providing an understanding of the barriers and facilitators that determined their success or failure
- To inform policy guidelines and business practices. First, the policy findings of the first two stages will be tested in a larger sample of some 200 firms, via a short questionnaire survey. Secondly, short secondments with policy organisations in the UK (Institute of Hospitality) and Spain (Segittur), and WTTC will provide opportunities for an in-depth exchange of knowledge of the innovation challenges facing tourism, and the design of policy guidelines to address these