Author : Janne Liburd & Anja Hergesell
School/Work Place : University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Contact :
Year : 2007

This article reports on an ongoing project that focuses on learning and innovation as prerequisites for sustainable tourism in a transnational environment defined by the European North Sea Region. According to Buhalis (2000: 113) providing innovative and well co-coordinated tourism products is exceedingly important for tourism regions. Similarly Hjalager (2002) agrees on the need for innovation in tourism, i.e. creating additional, commercially relevant value through the redesign of products, processes, management, logistics, and/or collaborative and regulatory structures. Hjalager (ibid) further argues that there is a gap between existing literature emphasizing the importance of tourism innovation, which is currently not reflected in practice. A number of inhibitors can be identified, of which some relate to human resource practices and the sector’s organizational structure. In particular, lack of retention, training and succession planning challenge the sustainability of the sector’s many small and medium sized tourism enterprises (SMTEs) (Liburd 2007). Also lack of trust and fear of change constitute major barriers to the generation and use of knowledge to nourish innovation (Hjalager 2002; Cooper 2006; OECD 2006).

Developed on behalf of the European Commission in 2006 these impediments are addressed in the Tourism Learning Area (TLA) approach. The TLA objective is to improve human potentials in tourism at local and transnational levels by developing a suitable framework to improve learning opportunities and facilitate sustainable tourism development. The concept thereby recognises the importance and ephemerality of specified knowledge and the need for lifelong learning in a variety of formal and informal settings (European Commission 2006). Moreover, it underscores the need to enable training of human resources in co-operation between competing and complementary destinations (Buhalis 2000: 114). In accordance, a key component of the TLA approach is to establish information and cooperation networks between stakeholders from relevant sectors with either a thematic or spatial focus. Also proposed as a problem-solving methodology the approach implies a mutual understanding of issues and goals (European Commission 2006). Moreover, partnerships among research and educational institutions for the identification and analysis of problems as well as dissemination of findings are strongly encouraged.

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15 Think Tank VII The Uptake of Innovation in Tourism Organisations: Bar... file 2463 Oct 13, 2013

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14 Think Tank VIII Enhancing the Quality of Life through Cultural Events:... file 2577 Oct 13, 2013

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13 Think Tank VII Getting Fit to Innovate: TUI's InnOlympics file 3675 Oct 13, 2013

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12 Think Tank VII Rural Adventure Tourism and Social Entrepreneurship file 3814 Oct 13, 2013

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11 Think Tank VII Web 2.0, Tourist Activated Networks and Sustainability... file 3958 Oct 13, 2013

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10 Think Tank VII Innovations in Volunteer Tourism: A Case Study of Fund... file 4363 Oct 13, 2013

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9 Think Tank VII Barriers to Innovation in Hospitality Provision: Towar... file 4420 Oct 13, 2013

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8 Think Tank X The Importance of Networks for Innovation in Sustainab... file 4628 Oct 14, 2013

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5 Think Tank VII Branding Sustainability: Taking 'The Natural Step' in ... file 5110 Oct 13, 2013

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4 Think Tank XI CRS 2.0: Management Perspectives of Sustainable Hospit... file 6406 Oct 14, 2013

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3 Think Tank VII The Community of Communicators and the Communication o... file 7662 Oct 13, 2013

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» Think Tank VII Learning as Prerequisite for Innovations in Tourism - ... file 8539 Oct 13, 2013

This article reports on an ongoing project that focuses on learning and innovation as prerequisites for sustainable tourism in a transnational environment defined by the European North Sea Region. According to Buhalis (2000: 113) providing i...

Author: Janne Liburd & Anja Hergesell 

Year: 2007 

1 Think Tank VII Tourist Perceptions of Environmentally Friendly Innova... file 18157 Oct 13, 2013

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