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New approaches in tourism management: the Innovative Business Group Programme in Spain

Ivars, J, Rodriguez, I, Vera, JF and Acebal, A (2014) New approaches in tourism management: the Innovative Business Group Programme in Spain Boletín de la Asociación de Geógrafos Españoles, 66. pp. 521-527.

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This paper is part of the analysis of the new policies drawn up to promote innovation in the field of tourism. Traditionally, innovation has had a marginal role in tourism, despite its territorial, social and economic importance. There are a series of barriers that hinder tourism with regard to innovation. The level of innovation is rather low compared to that of other economic activities, although the existing systems used to measure this are more appropriate for industrial sectors, so they probably underestimate the innovative capacity of the tourism sector. In any case innovation is a source of competitive advantage for companies and tourist destinations and therefore it is becoming increasingly more important in tourism policy. This paper analyses an initiative developed in Spain: The Innovative Business Group Programme (IBGs). Before embarking upon the analysis of this Programme however, the evolution of the role of innovation in tourism policy is first summarised and then secondly, a review is carried out on the use of the cluster concept and the policies associated with this concept in tourism, insofar as the inspirational principles of the IBG Programme liken the innovative groups to clusters. Innovation has had little bearing on Spanish policies in tourism until quite recently. For the first time ever, innovation and knowledge have become two of the central points of Spanish tourism policy within the context of the Strategic Spanish Tourism Plan Horizon 2020, the tourism policy instrument in force between 2008 and 2012. This Plan advocates a new tourist economy where innovation, knowledge, the acquisition and the development of talent are fundamental aspects. Within the context of this Plan, the Tourism Administration tries to encourage the participation of the tourist sector in the Innovative Business Group Programme (IBGs), which is an industrial policy instrument used to promote innovation and competitiveness within the corporate sector. Although it is not a specific tourism policy instrument in the strict sense of the word (it accommodates any industrial/business sector), what is new about this initiative is the pioneering participation of the tourist sector in a programme that traditionally focused on industrial sectors and the access to typical cluster policy innovative cooperation processes.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Hospitality
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Authors :
Ivars, J
Rodriguez, I
Vera, JF
Acebal, A
Date : 2014
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 14 Sep 2016 15:17
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 18:42

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