Social Innovations in Tourism: Social Practices Contributing to Social Development

Jan Mosedale and Frieder Voll

Abstract The concept of social innovation has, in recent years, received increased attention yet has received limited attention in the academic tourism literature. This chapter on social innovations in tourism has three aims: first, to provide a conceptual overview of social innovation, particularly in context of social entrepreneurship; second, to link the theoretical concept to existing literature and themes in tourism research; and third, to provide an impetus for not only thinking about, but also enacting and performing social innovation in a tourism context. At a general level, social innovation can be viewed as a process of collaborative innovation, where the innovation process benefits from networks, co-operation and co-production or as a social outcome, which changes social interactions and practices. With reference to examples from tourism, the chapter discusses new technologies and their effect on transforming social practices, on social innovations as a new form of governance, social entrepreneurship as one aspect of social innovation and the largely bottom-up and collaborative characteristics of social innovation.

Keywords Social innovation • Collaborative tourism innovation • Societal challenges • Empowering tourism communities

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