Capacity-, system- and mission-oriented innovation policies in tourism: characteristics, measurement and prospects

Anne-Mette Hjalager, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck

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Innovation policies for tourism are under-investigated and under-conceptualized. With reference to the ongoing innovation policy discussions, three distinctive public innovation policy paradigms–capacity-oriented, system-oriented and mission-oriented–are outlined, and the manifestations in the case of tourism are explained. Contemporary strategies and practices for tourism development tend to comprise elements of all three paradigms. Nevertheless, nowadays there tends to be a gradual evolvement towards an ongoing refinement of the instruments towards the mission-oriented approach, which addresses both societal challenges and economic opportunities. The complexity of goals and the number of actors involved increase when taking the mission-oriented policy approach. The EC-OECD innovation policy monitoring program STIP lists many instruments, but is still insufficient for tourism. The study refers to tests of innovation policy survey topics in Overseas Countries and Territories that demonstrate the significant ambiguity of innovation policies. In all types of countries and territories there is a demand for new frameworks, however most innovation policies still seem very traditional and fail to focus on future challenges.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)197-216
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • European Overseas Countries and Territories
  • Innovation policy
  • STIP
  • innovation systems
  • science and technology
  • transformative mission

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