Customer Resistance to Tourism Innovations: Entrepreneurs’ Understanding and Management Strategies

Sanchez, I., Williams, A., García-Andreu, H. (2019)

Journal of Travel Research (forthcoming)
DOI: 10.1177/0047287519843188
Customer resistance is the greatest risk to innovation for the entrepreneur. The aim of this exploratory study is to provide insights into this underdeveloped area in the tourism innovation literature. A qualitative approach is adopted to understand the resistance experienced by 57 entrepreneurs when introducing their innovations into the market, the causes and the actions taken to minimise resistance. Findings indicate that most entrepreneurs often encounter resistance from sceptical customers, satisfied with their status quo and with no or low appetites for innovation. The analysis reveals two main sources of resistance: the association of the innovations with particular risks, and the customers' lack of understanding of the innovation value. Communication strategies are crucial to decrease the associated risks and for trust building. The paper provides a critical perspective on the challenges faced by innovators, challenges which are often overlooked given the near-iconic status of innovation in studies of economic development.

Looks at 57 entrepreneurs and resistance to innovation in the tourism industry.

Includes a conceptual model on what to do in the face of postponement, rejection and opposition

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