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  • Titill er á ensku Innovation in Icelandic tourism. A case study.
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  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    The purpose of this thesis is to find the key to success in supporting innovation in clusters and companies in tourism. The Icelandic tourism cluster and companies operating in tourism were chosen as subjects which could fulfill the requirements for a single case study with multiple units of analysis in order to draw conclusions of innovative activities and processes within clusters and companies. Innovative capabilities on a company level were assessed by open semi-structured interviews with tourism company representatives.
    Literature confirms that innovation within companies is a necessary to stay ahead of competitors and to be able to offer new value to its customers. It is clear that innovation within clusters are strengthened through stronger collaboration and competition among its members, diffusion of information and (tacit) knowledge, but also through its local culture and specific infrastructure such as research institutes. Tourism clusters are characterised by their (natural) environment and the specific region of the cluster as production and consumption of tourism products takes place in the same area. However, tourism clusters are often vague, as many complementary companies have a stake in the cluster and locals or the local community are directly affected of the cluster and/or are part of it as well.
    Literature study in this thesis reveals that innovative activities in tourism clusters are supported by seven key success factors: collaboration and cooperation, infrastructure, leadership, funding and resources, policies, local community, and strategies to innovate.
    In this thesis the results show that tourism companies within the industry are not accountable for innovations alone, as the industry has wide-reaching dimensions into other industries. Innovative products in companies operating in Icelandic tourism are interactive, personalised for the customer and usually designated for a smaller customer market. Innovations were developed with collaboration of research institutes or organisations of other industries. Successful innovative companies in Iceland have a clear vision, are confident and target-driven in their endeavour. They see and exploit opportunities at the right time and can adapt to the market and fulfill customer needs timely. Through innovation new customers can be attracted or new markets developed which will give destinations new opportunities to develop and to define themselves in a new way.
    Further results show that supporting innovation on a company level will be limited on single companies whereas supporting the infrastructure on a cluster level will on the other hand smitten, and funding within the cluster and support will result in a greater number of start-up companies and innovative products. In generally it can be said that tourism cluster support is more important than supporting single companies in tourism.

  • 8.5.2017

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