Innovation within the Australian outdoor hospitality parks industry

Edward Brooker (The Foresight Management Group, St Catharines, Canada)
Marion Joppe (University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada)
Michael C.G. Davidson (Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)
Kathy Marles (Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Publication date: 6 July 2012



Traditional innovation typologies within the extant literature are not compatible with the innovation levels found within the Australian outdoor hospitality parks (OHP) sector, given its tourism and small business characteristics. This paper seeks to introduce an innovation typology specific to the Australian OHP sector.


A two‐phase qualitative research method was employed, whereby 30 semi‐structured interviews were conducted with OHP operators/administrators who were identified as being “innovative” by four industry executives. Based on the 30 interviews carried out in Phase 1, six industry individuals who demonstrated a wider and deeper approach to innovation than the others were further interviewed in Phase 2.


A small percentage of Australian OHP industry operators and executive officers showcase a level of innovation that is beyond incremental in character, but is not radical, revolutionary or disruptive. This group of “strategic innovators” are the first to adopt ideas from other sources and adapt them to fit within the Australian context. These new ideas are introduced in three‐ to four‐year increments, providing the individuals with sufficient time to assess the market's reaction to the changes, and to measure increased value to their situation. The three‐ to four‐year time span dovetails with the length of time taken by the majority of competitors to imitate the new concepts.


The paper introduces an innovation typology applicable to the Australian outdoor hospitality parks sector.



Brooker, E., Joppe, M., Davidson, M.C.G. and Marles, K. (2012), "Innovation within the Australian outdoor hospitality parks industry", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 24 No. 5, pp. 682-700.

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