Managing tourism firms in South Africa for competitiveness: an innovation perspective

SOURCE: Tourism Review International
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): I.Booyens, C.M.Rogerson
DEPARTMENT: Economic Perfomance and Development (EPD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9804

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Innovation is regarded as significant for the competitiveness of tourism firms. Yet, innovation in services, and also tourism, remain unde rresearched, especially in the context of the global South. This article draws on a cross-sectoral, firm-level survey of tourism innovation in the Western Cape region of South Africa, which determined that innovation by tourism firms is widespread, albeit predominantly incremental in character. This article interrogates the relationships between innovation and firm survival, as a proxy for competitiveness, and considers firm size as a key determinant of tourism innovation. In addition, the motivators and drivers of tourism innovation are analyzed. The Western Cape investigation reveals that innovation is part of a deliberate strategy for competitiveness by dynamic tourism firms. Further motivations comprise enhancing efficiency and productivity, ensuring survival, and behaving ethically.