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Innovation in Tourism

The long-term success and sustainability of tourism in a destination can be linked to the ability of the destination and its stakeholders to foster innovation in their approach to destination management. A landmark research report produced by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) developed a range of case studies focusing on the structures and processes used by regional destinations to foster innovation.Read more
The long-term success and sustainability of tourism in a destination can be linked to the ability of the destination and its stakeholders to foster innovation in their approach to destination management. A landmark research report produced by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) developed a range of case studies focusing on the structures and processes used by regional destinations to foster innovation. The Regional Tourism Cases report highlights the need for destinations to consider three core frameworks of destination management:

    Destination Management Tip

    Case studies of innovative and best practice destinations are widely published and available both within Australia and internationally. The STCRC’s regional tourism case studies are a great starting point.

  • History Matters – For regional destinations to embrace change and be innovative they must first understand their own development history and management choices and their current stage of development;
  • The System Matters – Understanding the tourism as a interrelated network or system can help explain the complexities of the sector, interactions between stakeholders and identify challenges and opportunities for innovation;
  • Knowledge Matters – Understanding innovation and the regional tourism system can help in building capacity for regional destinations to capitalise on the economic, social and environmental benefits of tourism.

In related research undertaken by the STCRC, the Prosper: An Evaluation of Tourism's Contribution to Regional Economies report identifies nine key factors that influence innovation in a destination:


  1. The economic competence of a destination and its stakeholders;
  2. Clustering of resources including tourism products, skills and amenities;
  3. Understanding the tourism network and the relationships between stakeholders;
  4. The existence of development blocks based on a fundamental attribute of a region;
  5. The entrepreneurial capacity of destination leaders;
  6. Developing a critical mass of tourism product in a region;
  7. The engagement of Local Government in the innovation process;
  8. The effective production and distribution of knowledge throughout the tourism network;
  9. The strength of the social, political and cultural environments.
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