This paper contributes to the tourism innovation literature by discussing the role of values and concern as drivers of innovation and sources of differentiation in tourism. A qualitative study of four whale-watching companies in Iceland and Norway shows that businesses in the same industry can differentiate through innovation based on their values and concerns. We have operationalized concern as the enactment of values and found four main foci of concern, as follows: customer, environment, society and business. Each focal point is further broken down into various sub-categories. These concerns result in differing innovation priorities and firm practices in the same industry. Businesses develop innovation profiles that distinguish them from competitors and that can attract like-minded stakeholders for cooperation. The implications for theory and practice are suggested.
Article written by Hindertje Hoarau-Heemstra and Dorthe Eide from the Northern InSights Project published in Tourism and Hospitality Research in desember 2016.