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Innovation systems in Nordic tourism

  • Published 02/03/2008
  • Last updated 22/06/2011

Frontpage report

This joint Nordic research project, with participants from all five Nordic countries, details 10 case studies of tourism enterprises, two in each country, in order to establish the driving forces of innovation in a growing service sector industry. The research describes important components of complex regional and entrepreneurial company environments, which through their dynamic relations maintain the potential for economic and corporate development. The research findings will provide the foundations for alternative public policy that will facilitate growth in tourism.

The research draws on theories of innovation systems and review of innovation policy in the Nordic countries. This theoretical approach is combined with detailed case studies, two from each country, on a successful tourism venture or destination that has been in operation for a minimum of five years. 

Main Results
The project members argue that each of the cases studied can in effect and of itself function as an innovation system, mobilising the complex regional and entrepreneurial components explained in the interviews. A successful innovation system has the following characteristics:

  • A multitude of actors

  • A diversity and density of relations

  • Mobilising role of key actors

  • An open resource access

  • Second comers to innovation being promoted

  • Keen competition

  • Public sector role

  • Increasing global outreach

  • An increasing cross-sectoral outreach

Project duration: September 2006 - February 2008

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Project participants