How to improve innovation in sustainable tourism? Five lessons learned from the Austrian Alps


On behalf of CELTH, Jasper Heslinga, joined the inspirational trip ‘Alpine Pearls’. Together with a Dutch delegation of tourism entrepreneurs, government representatives, nature organisations, research and educational organisations he gained inspiration for successful development of sustainable tourism. This group of experts went to the Austrian Alps were many local initiatives and innovative ideas were presented. Jasper also shared his own knowledge based on his PhD dissertation on the synergy between tourism and nature.

Lessons learned published in Journal of Tourism Futures

Based on the inspiration gained during the trip in the summer of 2018, five lessons were learned on how innovation in sustainable tourism can be improved. Recently these lessons have been published in the Journal of Tourism Futures. This scientific article was written by Jasper Heslinga, Hans Hillebrand and Tanja Emonts and provides practical examples from the Austrian Alps on how innovation can help improve sustainable tourism in the future. Being a source of inspiration for policy-makers and planners, these lessons have the potential to be applied to other regions.

Five lessons:

  1. Vision and leadership is needed
  2. Close collaboration between stakeholders is crucial
  3. The tourism financing system needs to be transparent and fair
  4. Seasonal extension reduces vulnerability
  5. Circular economy and sustainable use of resources

Interested? Download the publications here.

Integration of governments, entrepreneurs and education

This inspiration trip was organised by the Foundation for Innovation in Recreation and Space (STIRR). In addition to gaining knowledge and inspiration, this trip gave insight into ​​how tourism in the Netherlands could be preserved by different parties and perspectives. As CELTH, we strive to collaborate and co-create according to the Triple Helix model including governmental, entrepreneurial educational perspectives.