Abstract

Although innovation research has built a solid ground in the realms of nature science and technology, for examples, innovation study in the field of engineering looks at the development of new processes; innovation study in the field of medicine focuses on the development of new devices, drugs and practices, it has not obtained its proper respect as a critical topic in social science, particularly in tourism research. Innovation study in tourism is surprisingly limited and still in a phase of infancy. The purpose of this study is to further explore the notion of innovation in the context of tourism based on earlier scholars’ research. To provide more practical and industrial insights into the understanding of how innovation works in tourism, our researchers conduct a case study of Sunmore Ginseng Health Spa to examine its application of the established innovation concepts and paradigms, as well as the fitness for Abernathy and Clark’s innovation model. Sunmore Ginseng Spa, a health spa in Canada, is located in Kamloops, BC. It is operated as a day spa. The spa is characterized by four functioned suites with the themes from Chinese ancient philosophy: Gold, Wood, Water and Fire. The services offered at Sunmore spa include Swedish massage, aromatherapy massage, reflexology, body wrap, salt glow, facials, and ginseng steaming and sauna. The study found Sunmore Ginseng Health Spa fits well the right upper quadrant of the model which is named ‘architectural innovation’. In line with the ‘experience economy’, Sunmore Ginseng Health Spa may also be considered a good example of ‘experience innovation’. In addition, the research also identified several emergent themes from tourism innovations such as service differentiation, ‘high-tech. and high- touch’, and experience innovation in the experience economy. Future research should further look into the main drivers of tourism innovation, the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship, the development of innovation models for specific service sub-sectors, as well as the roles of innovation in the experience economy.

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Tourism Innovation: Integrating Ginseng into Spa Development: A Case Study of Sunmore Ginseng Health Spa in Kamloops, BC, Canada

Although innovation research has built a solid ground in the realms of nature science and technology, for examples, innovation study in the field of engineering looks at the development of new processes; innovation study in the field of medicine focuses on the development of new devices, drugs and practices, it has not obtained its proper respect as a critical topic in social science, particularly in tourism research. Innovation study in tourism is surprisingly limited and still in a phase of infancy. The purpose of this study is to further explore the notion of innovation in the context of tourism based on earlier scholars’ research. To provide more practical and industrial insights into the understanding of how innovation works in tourism, our researchers conduct a case study of Sunmore Ginseng Health Spa to examine its application of the established innovation concepts and paradigms, as well as the fitness for Abernathy and Clark’s innovation model. Sunmore Ginseng Spa, a health spa in Canada, is located in Kamloops, BC. It is operated as a day spa. The spa is characterized by four functioned suites with the themes from Chinese ancient philosophy: Gold, Wood, Water and Fire. The services offered at Sunmore spa include Swedish massage, aromatherapy massage, reflexology, body wrap, salt glow, facials, and ginseng steaming and sauna. The study found Sunmore Ginseng Health Spa fits well the right upper quadrant of the model which is named ‘architectural innovation’. In line with the ‘experience economy’, Sunmore Ginseng Health Spa may also be considered a good example of ‘experience innovation’. In addition, the research also identified several emergent themes from tourism innovations such as service differentiation, ‘high-tech. and high- touch’, and experience innovation in the experience economy. Future research should further look into the main drivers of tourism innovation, the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship, the development of innovation models for specific service sub-sectors, as well as the roles of innovation in the experience economy.