Handbook of Research on Innovation in Tourism Industries

Handbook of Research on Innovation in Tourism Industries

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Gry Agnete Alsos, Dorthe Eide and Einar Lier Madsen

The tourism sector – already one of the fastest growing industries in the world – is currently undergoing extensive change thanks to strong market growth and a transition to more experience-based products. The capacity for firms to innovate and adapt to market developments is crucial to their success, but research-based knowledge on innovation strategies in tourism remains scarce. This pioneering Handbook offers timely, original research on innovation within the tourism industry from a number of interdisciplinary and global perspectives.

Chapter 8: The start-up processes of tourism firms: the use of causation and effectuation strategies

Gry Agnete Alsos and Tommy Høyvarde Clausen

Subjects: business and management, management and sustainability, organisational innovation, development studies, tourism, environment, research methods in the environment, geography, human geography, tourism


Tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, with annual growth rates reaching 10 per cent. The growth of the international tourism industry is driven by growing wealth and economic development. For instance, from 1981 to 2008, there was a strong correlation of 0.998 between world GDP and total tourism income (at the global level). The correlation between the annual growth of the world GDP and total tourism income was 0.76 (Menon, 2010). In Norway, tourism firms account for 3.3 per cent of the GDP and 6.6 per cent of the total employment (Statistics Norway, 2012). The increase in wealth has led to the emergence of a fast-growing sub-sector within the tourism sector devoted to ëexperiencesí, i.e., economic offerings that include a series of memorable events that engage the customer in an inherently personal way (Pine & Gilmore, 1999). The formation of a new market for tourism experiences in Norway is driven by at least two factors. First, increased wealth internationally has led to increases in income from foreign tourists coming to Norway. In fact, income from foreign tourists has tripled since the 1970s. Second, Norway has become one of the richest countries in the world, which has led to high local demand for new experiences (Menon, 2010). The tourism sector is thus undergoing structural change. Increased economic development and riches have led to the formation of a possible new market for ëexperiencesí to which entrepreneurs can choose to respond.

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