Social innovation for sustainable tourism development

Booyens, Irma; Booyens, Irma and Brouder, Patrick, eds. (2022) Social innovation for sustainable tourism development. In: Handbook of Innovation for Sustainable Tourism. Research Handbooks in Tourism . Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp. 193-209. ISBN 9781800372740

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This chapter explores the notion of social innovation (SI) in the context of tourism development. Social imperatives are at the core of sustainability concepts. In sustainable tourism debates, the social dimension is concerned with maximising social benefits and ameliorating the adverse social impacts of tourism (Aquino et al., 2018; Rogerson and Saarinen, 2018). SI can be understood as new or improved practices to enhance social benefit (see Booyens and Rogerson, 2016). While the idea of SI has become widely accepted, the long wave of research on innovation foregrounds technology and business organisation as drivers, and pushes socio-political and human dimensions into the background (Cajaiba-Santana, 2014; Moulaert and MacCallum, 2019). As social aspects and sustainability are becoming more important, recent literature shows that mainstream perspectives emphasising market imperatives still dominate the study of innovation in tourism (Hall and Williams, 2020; Işık et al., 2019; Pikkemaat et al., 2019).