Innovative technologies and barriers to their introduction in the field of tourism

In this paper, the necessity of developing innovative technologies in this sphere is substantiated. The development of innovative tourism will allow Kazakhstan to attract additional cash flows, establish strong international business ties and strengthen its position in the world arena. Also given are data on various factors hampering innovation in micro and medium-sized tourist firms. Innovative barriers are identified and explored within the innovation chain of regional tourism in its three main areas: organizational, environmental and innovation. The dynamic growth rate of the tourism industry is accompanied by exceptionally intense competition, which exerts strong pressure on tourism firms, forcing them to innovate in order to survive and grow. However, empirical studies and official statistics point to a rather modest level of innovation in the tourism sector, which largely explains the reasons for studying this trend. Modern research on the management of innovations in the field of tourism is not so well studied, and especially it concerns barriers to innovation in tourism.

Tourism is rightly considered a global socio-economic phenomenon of the modern world. In practical terms, the rapidly developing tourism industry, using obvious development reserves lying on the surface, needs a new impetus, in search of innovations to justify its positions in the competitive struggle. Especially big risks are taken by organizations, implementing strategic guidelines. Kazakhstan tourism, forming its own path, needs a generalization of accumulated experience.

The Republic of Kazakhstan has a rather high tourist and recreational potential. On the territory of the republic there are unique natural and recreational resources, objects of national and world cultural and historical heritage. The presence of a variety of tourist resources makes it possible to develop almost all the main types of tourism: beach, cultural, educational, business, active, health and ecological tourism.

In modern practice, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the effectiveness of the development of the tourism industry is determined by the index of competitiveness of the travel and tourism sector. This index is calculated on the basis of 70 indicators of three subindexes: the sub index of the regulatory framework, the sub index of the business environment and infrastructure, the sub index of human, cultural and natural resources. It is compiled every two years. In the report on the competitiveness of tourism and travel in 2017, Kazakhstan from 136 countries took 81 lines.

It is compiled every two years. In the report on the competitiveness of tourism and travel in 2017, Kazakhstan ranked 81 out of 136 countries [1].

In general, one can agree with the opinion of experts that the level of development of the tourism industry in Kazakhstan lags far behind its potential. And we can distinguish a number of paradoxical circumstances. In particular, the natural and climatic conditions act on the one hand as a fundamental factor of the tourist destination. This is primarily a wealth of flora and fauna, unique natural complexes and landscapes, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. They are the catalysts for the development of the tourism industry.

At the same time, natural and climatic conditions are a limiting factor in the development of the tourism industry. In particular, the large territory of the country, long distances, insufficiently long climatic season requires more global investments in infrastructure development.

According to the results of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) research, in the world GDP structure the share of tourism is about 10 %, in Kazakhstan this indicator for 2016, despite the growth dynamics, reached only 1 %. It is assumed that tourism revenues in Kazakhstan by 2025 are planned to increase to 8 % of GDP [2].

Similarly, we can talk about the share of employed in the tourism industry. According to the estimates of the World Council of Travel and Tourism in the world tourism industry, 8 % are employed, in Kazakhstan, in this area, slightly more than 1 % is employed.

Table 1

Comparative analysis of the development of the tourist industry in Kazakhstan with the world average level






The volume of services provided by the placement sites, million tenge

59 714,1

72 401,94

72 597,2

82 853,4

The volume of services rendered by public catering enterprises, million tenge

238 307,70

269 320,50

321 919,0

415 836,9

GDP, million tenge

35 999 025,T~

39 675 832,9~~

40 884 133,6~

46 971 150,0~

Share of the tourism industry of Kazakhstan in GDP, %





The share of tourism in the world GDP structure

10 %

The share of the tourism industry in the Maldives in GDP, %





The share of the UAE tourism industry in GDP, %





Turkey's tourism industry share in GDP, %





The share of French tourism industry in GDP, %





Listed number of employees of tourist firms, thousand people





Number of employees of placements, thousand people





Listed number of employees of sanatorium establishments, thousand people





Number of employees in Kazakhstan, thousand people




6 342,8

The share of tourism workers in the total number of employees, %





The share of employed in the global tourism industry

8 %

The share of employment in tourism in the Maldives, %





The share of employed in tourism in the UAE, %





The share of employed in tourism in Turkey, %





The share of employed in tourism in France, %





Kazakhstan's place in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index of 136





Note. Created by author on a basis of link [3].

Weak tendencies also affect the rating change. Kazakhstan for 5 years has slightly improved its position on the index of competitiveness of the travel and tourism sector from 88 to 81 seats (Table 1).

It should be noted that in 2016, 6.5 million people visited Kazakhstan, about 90 % of them from the CIS countries. The average time spent in the country does not exceed four days. As for guests from far abroad, there were 573.7 thousand of them. Domestic tourism made 4.6 million visits with an increase of 11.8 %.

In the International exhibition EXPO-2017 took part: 115 countries and 22 international organizations. The number of visitors was almost 4 million people, only in July-August 2017 the number of visitors was 1 million 343 thousand. The majority of visitors were natives of the regions of Kazakhstan, their number was 1 million 132 thousand, of which more than 7 thousand - children, 273 thousand people - tourists, businessmen and members of official delegations who came to the exhibition from abroad. In the list of leaders, citizens - Russia, Germany, China. During the exhibition, 1,662 cultural, entertainment, business and 79 official events were held.

It should be specially emphasized that the sphere of development of the tourist industry in Kazakhstan is constantly under the close attention of the Head of State. Today the work of the Government in this direction is built according to the Plan of the Nation «100 specific steps», as well as the instructions of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Take Step 57 of the Plan of the Nation envisaged the attraction of strategic (anchor) investors with successful experience in the creation of tourist clusters.

For the period from 2015-2016. The tourism industry invested about 300 billion tenge, about 5,000 new jobs were created. The one-time capacity of accommodation in the country is increased by 31,000 beds (2014 - 109 thousand, 2017 -140 thousand).

In 2017, three projects involving strategic investors are in the process of implementation, three more projects involving anchor investors are under consideration. At the local level, projects are implemented in four tourist clusters (beach and health tourism on Lake Alakol, Bayanaul, Balkhash, in the Schuchinsk- Burabay resort zone).

In Step 86, the Head of State was commissioned to develop and implement a large-scale ANC project «The Big Country - a Large Family», which will strengthen Kazakhstan's identity and create conditions for the formation of an integral civil community. It was supposed that all this work will be connected with the implementation of the Concept of the development of the tourist industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2020 (taking into account the development of domestic tourism) and with the creation of regional cultural and tourist clusters: «Astana is the heart of Eurasia», «Almaty is a free cultural zone of Kazakhstan» «Unity of nature and nomadic culture», «Pearl of Altai», «Revival of the Great Silk Road», «Caspian Gates».

On June 30, 2017, by the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan No. 406, an updated Concept for the Development of the Tourist Industry until 2023 was adopted. At present, based on the proposals of central state and local executive bodies, the Action Plan for the implementation of the above Concept for 2017-2019 (Phase I) has been prepared [4].

In the theoretical aspect, the development of innovative problems in the development of tourism attracts special attention of researchers for a number of reasons. Let's designate five of them, which, according to the authors, are priority.

First, the concept of an innovative society, discussed by researchers, fundamentally changes the scientific understanding of economic development. With the increase of innovation flows, with the spread of innovations to all spheres of human activity, with the development of a special type of manager's thinking, the economic behavior of the manager in the sphere of tourism is presented and explained in a new way.

Secondly, innovations that strengthen the position of an economic entity should be the object of careful calculations and assessments. Implementation of systemic, integrated, technological approaches is an obligatory requirement for innovative activities in tourism.

Thirdly, with the strengthening of the innovation trend in the tourism industry, the study of the features of innovative development (the duration of the maturity of innovations, low returns at the beginning of implementation, the complexity of feedback in the management process) becomes a top priority.

Fourth, investment problems usually adjoin innovation problems. Without rejecting the need for investment research, large reserves of strengthening the innovative orientation of tourism are seen in organizational changes. It is necessary to carry out a complex of organizational transformations to establish the compliance of the organization's capacity with environmental requirements.

Fifthly, the human resource in tourism is not fully activated. The role of managers as catalysts for accelerating innovative transformations is growing. Innovative management potential is realized in activities, in behavior and its motivation, in management methodology, in management style [5].

A necessary condition for the progress of modern society and an absolute national priority in the long term is human development. It is tourism as one of the significant factors shaping the health of the nation, contributes to the strengthening of health, the restoration of the working capacity of people. The tourism industry is a dynamically developing sector of the world economy, which has a stimulating effect on the leading spheres (transport, communications, construction, production of consumer goods, agriculture, etc.). Due to the significant multiplicative effect tourism also serves as a catalyst for social and economic development and contributes to the improvement of the quality of life of the population.

In modern conditions, the problem of innovation has come to the forefront of scientific and technological development. It is assumed that innovation takes place when the economic entity uses something that already exists in a new way, which makes it possible to move to a qualitatively new level of life and development for producers and consumers of innovation, and to change the lifestyle of consumers of innovation for the better.

Based on the analysis of the definition of «innovation in tourism» it is worth emphasizing that innovation is a new or significantly improved product (product, service) or process introduced, a new method of sales or a new organizational method in business practice, workplace organization or external relations. In other words, innovation in the context of tourism should be understood as the result of a person's intellectual activity, his imagination, creativity and rationalization in the form of something new or different from the previous results. This creativity is called to qualitatively change the life of a tourist, to bring new emotions and impressions that will contribute to the improvement of social and personal issues.

Thus, innovations in tourism are characterized by introducing to the market improved services of intellectual activity of a person possessing new consumer qualities that will eventually become the object of new improvement.

The aim of innovation in tourism is systemic measures that have a qualitative novelty and lead to positional shifts that ensure sustainable functioning and development of the industry.

The sphere of innovations is global, it not only covers the practical use of scientific and technical developments and inventions, but also includes changes in the product, processes, marketing, organization. Innovation acts as an explicit factor of change, as a result of activities embodied in a new or improved product, technological processes, new services and new approaches to meeting social needs.

The system of management of tourism varies from industrial to postindustrial, and tourism - from mass to individualized. This is associated with a more fractional market segmentation and the emergence of a variety of niche specialized services and tourist products. The adaptation of the tourist infrastructure, buildings and equipment to the needs of such new, growing groups of tourists as children, the elderly and disabled people is happening.

One of the main directions of innovative changes is the development of sustainable tourism.

Environmental factors of innovative changes in tourism are climate change, reduction of areas with untouched nature. Negative trends in this area make the clean environment a great value in public opinion, which affects the tourist choice. The main trend of innovations in this area is the introduction of environmental management both at the enterprise level and at the municipal level.

Technological factors affecting innovative changes in tourism are first of all the development of information and communication technologies and new transportation opportunities.

The economic factors of innovative changes in tourism include raising the standard of living of the population. More and more people with a growing wealth can afford to travel. This leads to an increase in the number of experienced tourists. On the Internet, a growing number of sites and blogs, where tourists share their impressions, post photos and videos (networks of tourist experience), and they are drawn to an increasing number of people at the consumer choice stage. Economic factors affect the growth of the requirements for the quality of the tourist product, therefore at the enterprises of the tourism sector, integrated quality management systems are increasingly being introduced.

It should be noted that the modern development of tourism has led to the creation of various non- traditional types of tourism, which are innovative trends in the tourism sector: ecological tourism; religious tourism; extreme tourism; nostalgic tourism; dental tourism; exotic tourism; business tourism; corporate tourism; business tourism; congress tourism; shopping tourism.

Tourist organizations have always been active supporters of new technologies. Modern achievements in the field of telecommunications and electronic marketing provide new opportunities for the tourist business and significantly affect its models. The introduction of new technologies in tourism helps to increase investment returns. There are all conditions for the development of tourism in Kazakhstan. However, in the republic, due to the chronic underestimation of the existing potential, due attention is not paid to this sphere, which leads to stagnation in the development of the tourism industry.

Table 2 shows the main innovative types of tourism, as well as the factors that affect them and determine their belonging to different groups (Table 2).

Table 2

Classification of innovative types of tourism in conditions of transformation of motives of tourist behavior of individual and group tourists

Influence factor

Type of tourism

Innovative technologies

Influence factor


Religious tourism

Combined tours, special services (special products, special accommodation facilities, special activities in the field of ecotourism).

Imitational technologies, allowing to reproduce religious rituals, traditions

High level of costs

Shopping tourism

Extreme tourism

Medical tourism

Application of innovative marketing methods for shopping tourists (special marketing research, development of relationship marketing and iterative marketing).

Development of new methods for organizing extreme tourism, medical support for this type of tourism, a personalized approach to each tourist.

Organization of operational and postoperative medical care before the start of the tour, conducting a comprehensive survey, providing rehabilitation activities, selecting medical institutions to solve the problems of tourists

Emotional component

Extreme tourism

Nostalgic tourism

Shopping tourism

Exotic tourism

Formation of new extreme tourism services, development of new methods for organizing extreme events with elements of fiction.

The introduction of old good traditions from the historical past into the service of the tourist, the formation of individual tours at the request of tourists according to their desire to recreate the pictures of their past lives.

Accompaniment of shopping tourists for providing high emotional level and security, development of special events in the season of discounts and holidays.

The use of non-traditional approaches to the development of tourist destinations, the creation of an atmosphere of the holiday with the use of new methods of organizing leisure, the development of exotic entertainment, the use of exotic dishes in the organization of food for tourists.

Official Context

Business tourism

Congress tourism

Business tourism

Organization of business events using modern information technologies, providing a full package of business services. Co-organization of congresses, exhibitions, symposiums, conferences, providing opportunities for cooperation with local media.

Organization of business events and business processes within the framework of the tour with the use of modern technologies

Cognitive effect

Exotic tourism


Organization of acquaintance of tourists with new exotic places of stay, provision of personal participation of the tourist in mastering new ways of cooking, housing arrangement and other events.

Attraction of tourists to the recreation of flora and fauna, conducting educational activities in the field of ecotourism

Note. Created by author on a basis of link [6].

The development of innovative tourism will allow Kazakhstan to attract additional cash flows, establish strong international business ties and strengthen its position in the world arena, which in turn will enhance the competitiveness of the Kazakhstan tourist industry.

Thus, Kazakhstan tourist clusters face the problem of finding such innovative methods of building an effective management system that would strengthen the positions of tourist clusters and thus contribute to the further development of the tourism industry as a whole, based on a combination of innovative, institutional and project approaches, development of cooperation between state structures of all levels, the business community and tourism associations, aimed at implementing priority tasks within each of the strategic directions.

At the same time, researchers emphasize that the structural and behavioral features of tourism can create significant barriers to innovation. These studies relate to more or less sectoral features that create innovative barriers (Table 3).

Table 3 Features of the tourism industry that cause barriers to innovation


Induced (forced) barrier to innovation


Heterogeneity of business models

Low market transparency and difficulties in testing concepts

Ottenbarcher & Harrington, 2010; Camison & Monfort-Mir, 2012

The industry is dominated by medium-sized tourist firms

Low ability for innovation; insufficient knowledge of innovative innovations; change of inertia; low awareness of the importance of innovation, undeveloped innovative systems in the tourism industry; high transaction costs for creating joint structures

Hjalager, 2002;

Weiermair, 2006;

Pivcevic & Petric, 2011; Camison & Monfort-Mir, 2012

Unstable dynamics of development

The high level of closure of tourism SMEs and the volatility of ownership of tourism firms hamper the development of cooperative relations based on the weakening or accumulation of knowledge; promote the negative image of the industry in the labor market; difficulties with attracting highly qualified personnel

Hjalager, 2002;

Pechlaner, Fischer &

Hammann ,2009;

Camison & Monfort- Mir, 2012

Vulnerability to

fluctuations in demand

High income, elastic, seasonal and volatile demand increases the risk of an unstable and uncertain market of innovations, triggers strategic incrementalism; a high rate of renewal of human capital, which prevents the accumulation of new knowledge and tools that attract highly qualified human resources

Hjalager, 2002; Sundbo et al., 2007; Camison & Monfort-Mir, 2012

Culture of small trust

Ineffective transfer of knowledge; a weak inclination to cooperate in the field of innovation

Hjalager, 2002; Najda- Janoszka, 2013,

Undeveloped tourist policy

Institutional Inertia; discrepancy between the needs of the tourism business and institutional proposals; a weak structure for supporting the tourist business; administrative burden

Weiermair, 2006;

Hjalager, 2010;

Limited legal protection of innovations

The domination of imitators and adoptive parents over genuine innovators; weak relation to cooperation in the field of innovations; free rider ratio

Hjalager, 2002; Sundbo et al., 2007; Najda- Janoszka, 2013

Note. Created by author on a basis of link [7].

As a rule, rather modest innovativeness of tourist firms is usually associated with the fragmented nature of the tourism industry, which is dominated by very small companies run by one person or families. Problems of risk aversion, resistance to change, low level of awareness of the importance of innovation, limited resources that are common to small businesses, are becoming a problem for the whole industry. Nevertheless, some studies indicate the existence of highly innovative small tourist firms and that in small tourism firms, innovations are positively correlated with a propensity for entrepreneurship [7]. Maintaining arguments in favor of studying the propensity to innovate in tourist micro, small and medium-sized firms, including in a greater degree from the point of view of entrepreneurial orientation. Undoubtedly, the precarious environmental conditions characteristic of the tourism industry exacerbate the level of risk associated with innovative development. The modest empirical data presented in the literature as a whole confirm that theleader's advantages decrease with increasing turbulence of the environment. Thus, the tendency of tourist firms to implement incremental, imitative changes should not be discussed only from the point of view of negative, adverse phenomena, since from the strategic point of view it reflects the alternative and potentially more effective approach to the appropriation of value.

Table 4 Applicability of intellectual property (IPR) to innovations in the tourism industry


Main characteristics

Applicability to the specifics tourism industry


Applicable to useful technical inventions, original samples in the industry. Grant the exclusive right to exploitation to the patent owner. Protection is limited geographically and temporarily. Patents are provided through formal registration and application procedures related to the disclosure of the invention.

Limited applicability. The tourism sector is dominated by non-technological, thus, un patentable innovations.


Protecting the original ways of expressing ideas. Protection immediately and formal procedure is not required.

Wide application coverage. This applies to codified knowledge contained in visible innovations that can easily be an inspiration for such solutions. Quite limited effectiveness in protecting from inspiration.


A trademark provides exclusivity for a particular sign that distinguishes its owner from other firms. Protection through a trademark requires a formal registration procedure. It is temporary, but can be extended indefinitely.

Wide application coverage. This applies to very visible innovations that are susceptible to inspired imitations. Thus, the appropriation of value from a registered trademark requires additional investment in the creation of a strong brand.

Geographical description

Protected names and signs denoting the geographical origin of natural, agricultural or industrial products and their quality, reputation or other characteristics derived from this place.

Protection is not provided for individual producers, but for all products that meet the conditions of a specific geographical indication. Particularly useful in the development of regional tourism products.

Trade Secrets

Protection of undisclosed information. There is no official procedure for registering a trade secret.

Wide application coverage. This may apply to codified and unspoken knowledge. For effective trade secrets, a comprehensive information policy, supported by confidentiality agreements, is required. Inefficient for observed innovations. Incorrect use of trade secrets makes inter-organizational cooperation difficult.

Note. Created by author on a basis of link [6].

Since the provision of tourism products is more associated with the provision of experience than with specific services, the weak location of tourist firms for cooperation is something paradoxical. In addition, it has been proven that cooperative activities positively correlate with innovation [8]. As shown in Table 1, this reluctant attitude toward cooperation is rooted in various structural features and behavioral models of the tourism industry, which makes overcoming such an obstacle for introducing innovations difficult. The lack of joint relations between tourist firms is most often associated with limited opportunities to protect innovation. According to the literature, limited opportunities for appropriating value from implemented innovations hamper the employment of innovative activities. Meanwhile, the issue of effective protection of innovations introduced into the tourism industry from imitative practices conducted by competitors, not only has no empirical, but also a thorough theoretical study. Most authors point to the limited applicability of patents, such as intellectual property rights and the unpatentable nature of many innovations introduced by tourism firms,which is why the whole spectrum of other legal and managerial protection regimes is lost sight of. Although literature suggests a rather questionable effectiveness of patent protection in most industries.

For notable innovations that dominate the tourism industry, the effectiveness of available legal measures is very limited (Table 2). According to Teese [9, 10], this indicates a weak acceptability regime that encourages imitative practices, as well as the search for complementary, managerial methods of protection, such as causal ambiguity, advantageous position in access to additional assets, time advantage. This indicates that business entities perceive these management regimes as highly effective mechanisms of legal protection [6].

Essential sources of internal innovation barriers in tourism firms are the characteristics of the tourism industry, both small firms and high turnover (Table 4).

Table 5 Specific organizational features of tourist firms, causing barriers to innovation


Barriers to innovation


A low culture of innovation and knowledge management

Lack of flexibility, dysfunctional knowledge sharing and networking, poor learning environment, lack of innovation, limited knowledge of innovation, lack of pressure on innovation, low-risk culture, lack of understanding of the role of innovation in enhancing competitiveness

Cordeiro &

Vieira, 2012; Mistilis &

Gretzel, 2013

High turnover rate of personnel

Problems with personnel, insufficient training, low formal qualifications, problems with the protection of the company's knowledge, the limited value of traditional career paths, lack of motivation for learning and innovation, low absorptive capacity, lack of technical knowledge, adequate training, motivation for progress, lack of key professionals and acquired skills

Ecorys, 2009;

Mistilis &

Gretzel, 2013

Low innovation and knowledge management culture

Lack of flexibility, dysfunctional knowledge sharing and networking, poor learning environment, lack of innovation, limited knowledge of innovation, lack of pressure on innovation, low-risk culture, lack of understanding of the role of innovation in enhancing competitiveness

Cordeiro &

Vieira, 2012; Mistilis &

Gretzel, 2013

Weak Change


The attitude of managers, the unsupported organizational structure, the lack of leadership in change, the resistance of workers to change

Cordeiro & Vieira, 2012;

Small size

The small size (along with the problems of personnel management) causes a low absorptive capacity for external knowledge and innovations, limited opportunities to ensure the continuity of innovation and to achieve an optimal level of innovation; limited resources that increase the risk of innovation and restrict access to technology, which is too expensive for micro, small and medium-sized tourist firms, focused on daily operations

Cordeiro & Vieira, 2012;Mistilis & Gretzel, 2013

Note. Created by author on a basis of link [6].

The small size of tourist firms is associated with a significant shortage of resources. Firms do not have the resources to create innovative knowledge on their own or to purchase them from commercial organizations [11, 12]. They are forced to acquire knowledge and information to stimulate innovative processes or ready-to-use innovative ideas, mainly from open external sources, but this process may also be hampered by the limited ability to absorb small and medium-sized enterprises (Table 5).

Another issue of key importance for innovation is human resources in micro, small and medium-sized tourism firms. While the importance of highly skilled and motivated staff is often called a critical success factor for innovation, demand fluctuations, caused by seasonality and relatively low wages, lead to numerous problems related to human resources. Low level of education, lack of skills and key specialists - are the reasons for low absorptive capacity. Absorptive capacity is a factor that describes the ability of a firm's source to use external knowledge, encompassing both the ability to recognize the importance of information, and the awareness of a lack of internal knowledge. Its importance is especially important in the context of open innovation models that are characteristic of the tourism industry.

Thus, the study of the issue of effective protection of innovations in tourism should focus not only on legal measures, but mainly on management regimes that correspond to the specifics of the process of creatingvalue in tourism. Also, resource constraints cause a relatively high risk for innovation and a lack of time for innovation, which also hampers access to innovative technologies that are too expensive for tourism firms. An important factor in the success of innovation is the creation of an innovative culture, and a high level of turnover of human resources contributes to solving the problems of accumulating and protecting the knowledge of the firm.



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Year: 2018
City: Karaganda
Category: Economy