Innovation through Co-Creation: How can we co-create in tourism?

The behavior of consumers and tourists has changed. 

From the idea of  only buying  products, it shifted towards playing an active  role  in  the  consumption  process. Consumers got  more and more  active  and  involved  in  the consumption  of  their  own products  and  services.


How it was:
In the 90s, people have merely bought manufactured products  and services.

… how it is now:
This changed into a growing  pursuit of interactive consumption experiences. In the past  decade,  society  has  undergone  a  transformation  towards  the  centricity  of  individuals  and  their  human  experiences  in  quest  for  personal  growth.


The shift of society and industries:


Global  competition,  challenging  markets  and  dynamic  technologies led to a shift of society and industries. Businesses have recognised their opportunities. The central idea companies want to achieve is the consumer  as  the co-creator  of his or her  consumption experiences.


The result: a ‘prosumer society’


It originated a ‘prosumer society’, distinguished by consumers who are actively involved not only in the consumption, but also in the production of products, services and experiences.

  • Co-creation,
  • co-production
  • crowdsourcing  and
  • open  innovation

are just a few buzzwords we here often. These concepts all describe the integration of  the customer as a key resource in consumer-oriented innovation processes.

The consumer now has multiple roles, as a participant of the crowd, co-producer of the products and services, and co-creator of value and experiences.


What was the trigger for such a change?


The  possibilities  for  consumers  and companies to  engage  and  co-create  in  consumption  process  have been particularly driven by technology. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have transformed the role of consumers  in product and service development, consumption and experience. The Internet and Web 2.0  platforms have become a catalyst of change that has not only impacted on the way businesses  and consumers interact but has fundamentally transformed the way how and by whom tourism products, services and experiences are designed, created and consumed. Social  media and networking tools have opened up many opportunities to engage consumers along  the service  value  chain.


Consumers play the key role!


There is no difference any more. The role between companies and consumers has changed. Consumers use their new power and  share their opinions, complain, negotiate, endorse, interact and co-create experiences. Consumers  want to contribute  with their own resources. They want to transform a simple service encounter into an experiential and valuable  experience.


Consumers always come first …

The  key  to  this  process  is  the adoption of  a  co-creation  philosophy. A philosophy that  puts  the  consumer first.

The  main  chance  for  tourism  businesses  is  to  identify original, unique and  innovative co-creation processes and initiatives that involve the consumer.

In this book chapter by Dr. Barbara Neuhofer 2016, she creates a bridge between #innovation, #co-creation and #technology. A classification of  technology-facilitated  co-creation  processes  in  the  context  of  tourism is developed and  relevant  implications for current tourism research and practice are drawn out.

Here is the full reference to cite this work:

Neuhofer, B. (2016) Innovation through co-creation: Towards an understanding of technology-facilitated co-creation processes in tourism. In: Egger, R., Gula, I., Walch, D. (eds.) Open Tourism: Open Innovation, Crowdsourcing and Collaborative Consumption challenging the tourism industry. Vienna, Springer, pp.17-33.

If you are interested download and read the article on:

Link to the publisher: Springer 

Link to Reserach Gate/Academia: Research Gate and Academia



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