A research gap exists for the conceptual strengthening, measurement and analysis of innovation at the tourism firm and systems levels, especially in the context of the global South. This paper investigates tourism innovation in the Western Cape region of South Africa. In particular, the nature and types of innovation by tourism firms and system actors are interrogated. It is revealed that innovation by tourism firms is widespread, albeit is largely incremental in nature. The main contribution of this research is the development of an expanded evidence‐based tourism innovation typology from a cross‐sectoral survey of tourism firms and qualitative interviews undertaken with tourism system actors. In addition, recommendations are provided regarding measurement of innovation in tourism.
- tourism innovation typology
- firm level tourism innovation
- cross‐sectoral study
- tourism systems
- Western Cape