University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

The Innovation Journey of New-To-Tourism Entrepreneurs and The Challenge of Traversing The Valley of Death

Rodriguez-Sanchez, Isabel and Williams, Allan (2016) The Innovation Journey of New-To-Tourism Entrepreneurs and The Challenge of Traversing The Valley of Death In: School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Conference 2016 "Making an impact: Creating Constructive Conversations", 19 - 22 July 2016, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.

The_innovation_journey_of_new-to-tourism_entrepreneurs.pdf - Version of Record

Download (1MB) | Preview


Entrepreneurs undertake the innovation journey every time they follow a sequence of events to transform a new idea into an implemented reality or innovation. The journey has often been referred to as a “black box”, where the internal workings are complex and poorly understood, and this is especially true of tourism. In order to understand this process this study aims to present a comprehensive model which integrates existent information from different strands of literature to describe and understand the tasks and subtasks in which the process can be divided. This paper focuses on the innovation journey of a specific type of innovator: new-to-tourism young entrepreneurs who followed a distinctive start-up process. It analyses the sequence of events and associated micro processes and actions in the innovation journey that broadly correspond to the unfolding innovation process: idea generation, coalition building, idea realization and transfer or diffusion. The analysis draws on the narrations of a sample of tourism innovators recipients of loans from a Spanish tourism innovation programme about their journey, backed up by desk research about the types of innovations and the entrepreneurs’ identities to reconstruct each innovation biography. The findings show that these innovators, coming from other fields (mainly engineering), consider tourism to be a lower-risk sector with low barriers to entry, and high potential for technology-based innovations. However, the lack of tourism experience has forced the innovators to build coalitions with tourism stakeholders at different points. The findings also confirm the key characteristics of the process outlined by innovation scholars: the journey is highly dynamic, uncertain and fraught with difficulties of a dynamic nature which require quick, creative – and mainly collective - responses. This is particularly important when traversing the so-called Valley of Death, the gap between set-up costs and revenue generation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Poster)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Authors :
Date : 19 July 2016
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2016 The Authors
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 05 Jul 2017 10:45
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:54

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800