The complex nature of tourism, its strong inter-sectoral relationships and regional dimension challenge innovation. The advent of smart specialisation, which focuses on regional diversification across sectors, offers considerable and hitherto largely unrealized potential for developing innovative tourism policies within this new agenda. This paper addresses the understudied concept of tourism diversification and its unrealized relevance to smart specialisation, which has emerged as a mainstream logic underpinning EU Cohesion Policy reforms and has diffused into other OECD countries. It provides a theoretical framework for studying product, market, sectoral and regional diversification as well as related variety in tourism. Some policy implications for realizing tourism diversification and for the potential role of tourism in smart specialisation strategies in particular are suggested.
Bibliographical noteThis article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
- tourism diversification
- Smart Specialisation
- Tourism innovation
- related variety