Innovative Processes in a Nature-Based Tourism Case: The Role of a Tour-operator as the Driver of Innovation
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Original versionScandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism 2010, 10(3):190-206 10.1080/15022250.2010.491255
This paper develops four propositions for the role of a tour‐operator as the driver of innovations in a nature‐based tourism case. This system features small‐scale tourism firms that cooperate with a tour‐operator who holds the position as the driving force. The propositions are analysed in a comparison with the empirical data from a case‐study, which includes a tour‐operator and 12 firms that offer nature‐based products and services. The empirical findings indicate that the system works well for entrepreneurs still in the founding stage. Additionally, small‐ and medium‐sized firms are quite satisfied with the tour‐operator both as a transfer channel of competence and as a distributor of the supplier's services. The most professional firms are more critical of the outcome of the system. The system has, however, contributed to innovations and innovative capacity in general. To meet the skilled firms' demands for support for complex developmental processes, the system requires refinement.