Who Controls Tourism Innovation Policy? The Case of Rural Tourism

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Over the past decades, rural tourism has developed rapidly and has gradually amplified its scope, scale, and attractiveness. This study addresses local action groups (LAGs) that fulfill their obligation of stimulating innovation by implementing the Europe Union's rural development policy under the LEADER program. The LAGs represent the radical decentralization controlling and implementing rural tourism innovation policy. An overview of supported Danish projects demonstrates a constructive leveraging of local resources and an alignment with cultures and lifestyles in an incremental upgrading of rural tourism facilities, although the innovation performance tends to be low. The independence of LAGs hollows out national authorities' potential roles in coordination and strategy. This study concludes that stimulating fundamental rural tourism innovation and aligning local tourism development with other important welfare and environmental agendas are hardly possible when national capacities are outmuscled.

TidsskriftTourism Analysis
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)401-412
StatusUdgivet - 2014


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