Presenter Bios

Dr Sarah Gardiner:

Dr Sarah Gardiner has a PhD in Marketing and is a Senior Lecturer in tourism at Griffith University. Prior to that, she worked for over 15 years in the private and government sectors of tourism. Her research is published in leading tourism academic journals and she regularly undertakes consultancies for industry.

Dr Sheranne Fairley:

Dr Sheranne Fairley is a Senior Lecturer with the UQ Business School, The University of Queensland. Her research interests include sport tourism, nostalgia, volunteerism, and event leverage. She is an editorial board member on the Journal of Sport Management, Sport Management Review, and the Journal of Sport & Tourism.

Professor Noel Scott:

Noel Scott is Professor and Deputy Director of the Griffith Institute for Tourism on the Gold Coast, Australia. His research examines tourism experiences, destination management, marketing, and stakeholder organization. Prior to his academic career, Noel worked as a senior manager in Tourism and Events Queensland.

Abstract

Stimulating new tourism product ideas and developing an innovative culture within destinations is fundamental to enhance the current and future competitiveness of the tourism industry. Although academic research is generally considered a necessary precursor to innovation, tourism academic research is criticized as inward looking and failing to create new opportunities. This paper describes a case study of tourism academics working with tourism businesses and destination management agencies to unlock business innovation potential and start an innovation conversation in a destination. Drawing upon the principles of transformational learning theory, the academics built long-term research relationships with tourism businesses and challenged them to develop innovative and appealing products for a new market (the Asian international student market). The successful results provide a model for academic research that challenges established views, disrupts routine thinking and finds ways to innovatively adapt products for new markets.

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Unlocking Tourism Innovation Potential through Academic Research: A Transformational Learning Approach

Stimulating new tourism product ideas and developing an innovative culture within destinations is fundamental to enhance the current and future competitiveness of the tourism industry. Although academic research is generally considered a necessary precursor to innovation, tourism academic research is criticized as inward looking and failing to create new opportunities. This paper describes a case study of tourism academics working with tourism businesses and destination management agencies to unlock business innovation potential and start an innovation conversation in a destination. Drawing upon the principles of transformational learning theory, the academics built long-term research relationships with tourism businesses and challenged them to develop innovative and appealing products for a new market (the Asian international student market). The successful results provide a model for academic research that challenges established views, disrupts routine thinking and finds ways to innovatively adapt products for new markets.