The New Age of Strategic Tourism: From Product Differentiation to Strategic Innovation

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review


    Conventional approaches to strategic planning propose simple product and price tactics that managers can follow after undertaking a sophisticated analysis of a firm's competitive position. The present paper argues that it would be unwise for firms operating inside volatile and unpredictable systems such as tourism to simply adopt these orthodox practices and that strategy ought to be conceived as alternative methods for learning about a firm's environment. The paper shows that it is possible to establish a number of generic learning strategies (non-deterministic by design) on based on basic tradeoffs between learning methods and types of knowhow that firms can choose to create or acquire. The paper also argues that these considerations are especially important for tourism strategy as volatility and diversity constitute inherent attributes of tourism systems not showing any signs of convergence or stability. This implies that business strategy in tourism ultimately involves the ability to develop or acquire competencies in experimenting with alternative learning methods. Consequently, the positioning of tourism firms takes place at the innovation level rather than in terms of pricing or market segmentation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCAUTHE 2000
    Subtitle of host publicationPeak Performance in Tourism and Hospitality Research; Proceedings of the Tenth Australian Tourism and Hospitality Research Conference; 2-5 February, Mt Buller, Victoria
    EditorsE. Michael
    Place of PublicationCanberra
    PublisherCouncil for Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE)
    ISBN (Print)0646388320
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


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