Taylor, AJ 2005, 'A critical evaluation of aspects of the tourism information commodity marketplace in Australia and some implications for innovation in tourism', Masters thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.
Copyright AJ Taylor 2005
There is a growing body of literature which discusses the importance of systems of innovation (SOI) to modern economies. Systems which are innovative are characterised by organisations and institutions which identify weaknesses in current technologies, pursue new ideas through research and development, develop and produce technological innovations, and apply or distribute these for the collective benefit of the system. The literature suggests a number of structures which contribute to fostering systems of innovation. Efficiency in the production and exchange of knowledge is one of these.
Tourism has been described as an economic system and recent public policy has recognised the importance of the production and exchange of knowledge for innovation in tourism. The distribution (or presentation) of secondary information resources (also referred to as “commodities”) has received particular attention from policy makers. The totality of information resources which is presented to information marketplaces at a point in time can be described as the information stock. Past commentary on the stock of tourism information in Australia indicates that inefficiencies may exist in the presentation and exchange of these resources in the marketplace.
This research proposes a model of the marketplace for the exchange of tourism information commodities, the Tourism Information Commodity Marketplace (TICM). The model is applied to testing and identifying weakness in current production and exchange processes in Australia. In the research, the stock which is presented to the market is located, identified, catalogued and tested against the model to identify whether there are marketplace inefficiencies in the form of leakages. Leakages are the costs which tourism firms and organisations face as they try to address information needs by procuring and applying secondary information commodities.
The research shows that a proportion of the presented stock can be moved efficiently from suppliers to consumers and is capable of meeting information needs of consumers at a point in time. However, a range of presentation and demand-side issues are identified which reduce the potential for knowledge-based innovation in tourism systems. These relate to language, access, availability, reliability, validity and coverage aspects which are associated with the stock and demand-side characteristics.
The implications of this research for policy makers and suppliers of tourism information commodities are that dissemination weaknesses, in particular, must be addressed for the contribution of secondary information resources to innovation in tourism to be fully realised. For informatics researchers, the TICM is a valuable and adaptable tool for depicting and assessing marketplace dynamics where information is the commodity for exchange. It augments the understanding of the innovative potential of tourism stocks for systems of innovation as well as identifying potential barriers.