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Tourism Economics

Innovation in the Hospitality Industry: Firm or Location?

Journal Article
Backman, Mikaela, Johan Klaesson and Özge Öner (2017). “Innovation in the Hospitality Industry: Firm or Location?”. Tourism Economics 23(8), 1591–1614.

Mikaela Backman, Johan Klaesson, Özge Öner

The hospitality industry is a rapidly growing revenue generator in many countries and is becoming economically important for generating employment and for integrating of immigrants into the labor market. As an industry where firms face fierce competition, it is important for the firms to maintain their competitiveness by distinguishing themselves from others through continuous improvements and innovations. In this article, we investigate the determinants of innovation in the hospitality industry by analyzing survey data gathered from over 900 firms in Sweden. In the analysis, we differentiate between firm-specific and location-specific features. We conclude that the most important characteristics that explain innovation lie within the firm itself, not the location. These results provide important insights regarding firm- versus location-placed innovation policies.