Relational university, learning and entrepreneurship ecosystems for sustainable tourism

Rosa María Torres Valdés (Department of Communication and Social Psychology, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain)
Carolina Lorenzo Álvarez (Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain)
Javier Castro Spila (Innovation Momentum Lab, San Sebastián, Spain)
Alba Santa Soriano (Service of Research Management and Technology Transfer, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain)

Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management

ISSN: 2053-4620

Publication date: 28 May 2018



This paper aims to offer a conceptual model for the development of a teaching–learning experiential ecosystem which favors university entrepreneurship in the area of sustainable tourism and innovation acceleration.


The methodology is carried out in two phases. First, participatory action research in the context of the “Protocol and Event Organization” subject, included in the Tourism degree taught at the University of Alicante, analyzing a didactic experience as a case study. Second, primary qualitative and quantitative research.


Although at a small scale, it is shown that the relational approach for university management fosters entrepreneurship and generates social awareness regarding the sustainable tourism business.

Research limitations/implications

This is a local simulatory case on relational university and is based on only one subject. However, as a starting point, it has the following implications.

Practical implications

The authors contribute in a practical manner to model a learning and entrepreneurship ecosystem for configuring an education innovation agenda in the field of tourism, with the cooperation of all agents involved in this sector to accelerate novel entrepreneurships, as well as transitions, toward sustainability.

Social implications

The model is useful to accelerate new entrepreneurship and transitions toward sustainable regional development.


Students have led the process and have become quintessential relationatory agents, creating their own career opportunities on sustainable tourism, in addition to creating society–university links.



Torres Valdés, R., Lorenzo Álvarez, C., Castro Spila, J. and Santa Soriano, A. (2018), "Relational university, learning and entrepreneurship ecosystems for sustainable tourism", Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.