The Determinants and Barriers Affecting Innovation Management in SMTEs in the Tourist Park Sector

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Bergin-Seers, Suzanne, Breen, John P and Frew, Elspeth Ann (2008) The Determinants and Barriers Affecting Innovation Management in SMTEs in the Tourist Park Sector. Tourism Recreation Research, 33 (3). pp. 245-253. ISSN 0250-8281


Innovation, the generation and adoption of new ideas, has become increasingly important for firms to grow or even to survive in the current economic climate. This paper focuses on tourism enterprises in the tourist park sector where the firms are largely small–medium tourism enterprises (SMTEs). Such firms are often characterized by their limited resources, yet they need to both attract, and retain customers to remain sustainable. Innovation is, therefore, a key tool for keeping ahead of the competition, retaining market share and ensuring viability of the business. However, there is little knowledge about the key drivers and barriers impacting on innovative behaviour of SMTEs in this sector. Therefore, a major survey of the tourist park operators was undertaken in partnership with the Caravan RV and Accommodation Industry of Australia (CRVA). The paper presents the key findings commencing with an overview of the changes in the sector in order to set the scene for the study. The study discovered a group of innovative firms among the respondents who demonstrated unique behaviours and attitudes. The most common barrier amongst the innovative group was government regulations. In terms of innovation enhancers, the highly innovative group used networking with external people to keep up to date with advances outside their own business as a means of developing new products and services. Their strong belief in the value of information is demonstrated in their active environmental scanning behaviours. Overall, it has been highlighted that the key role of managers and a dynamic management style are key factors in producing more innovative enterprises. These findings help build an understanding of innovation behaviours and activities in SMTEs operating in tourist parks and contribute to the work of practitioners in developing support programmes for the sector.

Item type Article
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Tourism and Services Research (CTSR)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1506 Tourism
Historical > SEO Classification > 9099 Other Commercial Services and Tourism
Keywords ResPubID16782, innovation, small and medium sized businesses, tourist parks; barriers, enhancers
Citations in Scopus 6 - View on Scopus
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