Innovation in the Norwegian Rural Tourism Industry: Results from a Norwegian Survey
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Original versionThe Open Social Science Journal 2010(3):15-29
This paper focuses on innovation in the rural tourism industry. The data is a survey including 133 Norwegian rural tourism enterprises. The operational definition of innovation in this study is quite similar to the one used in the European innovation studies, the Community Innovation Survey, conducted by Eurostat. The seven hypotheses in this study are deduced from the review of the literature. The survey indicates rather high rates of innovations among rural tourism enterprises even if the rates are somewhat lower than the average of other tourism enterprises in Norway. The rural tourism enterprises’ innovative capacity is closely associated with the enterprises’ involvement in cooperation, use of market-information systems, and actions taken to increase the employees’ competence. Additionally, the enterprises with an exporting orientation generate more product innovations than other enterprises. Enterprises that acquire public grants have also on average implemented more product and market innovations compared with the rest of the enterprises. The findings give grounds for some practical recommendations. Finally, more research is needed due to the fact that research on innovation has rarely focused on small-scale, rural tourism enterprises.