E-Tools for Tourism Innovation Management: A typology

Anne-Mette Hjalager*, Søren Graakjær Smed, Jens F. Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


It is often claimed that small- and medium-sized tourism enterprises have a limited innovation capacity. However, framed by innovation policies, public and private organizations assist with various kinds of innovation management. In recent years, a multitude of e-tools have been launched to effectively support businesses in their innovation processes. This chapter undertakes a qualitative analysis of 21 of these e-tools. More precisely, the chapter examines the digital software measures through two lenses. First, a categorization of the approaches shows that e-tools can support innovation in a variety of ways, with idea management tools, brainstorming/idea generation tools, idea sharing tools, networking tools, collaboration/crowdsourcing tools, open innovation tools, idea ranking and assessment tools, trendspotting/trend scouting tools, gamification tools, analysis tools and dashboards, etc. Thus, e-tools seem to accommodate tourism SMEs’ diverse development and creativity challenges well. Second, the chapter scrutinizes the phases of innovation and finds that the majority of the e-tools tend to support the planning, scoping, definition, and exploration phase, while later steps in the innovation processes are not as well covered by e-tools, including concept generation and early prototype iteration, evaluation, and refinement. The chapter concludes that further developments may refine and expand digital tools and that tourism SMEs may be receptive if the e-tools properly address operational conditions, such as financial constraints, seasonal fluctuations, and, most importantly, adaptability to collaborative usage settings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of E-Tourism
EditorsZheng Xiang, Matthias Fuchs, Wolfram Höpken
Number of pages25
Place of PublicationSpringer, Cham
Publication date2020
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-05324-6
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Tourism innovation
  • Innovation e-tools
  • Innovation Management
  • Idea management
  • Creativity


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