New Product Development

7490 Words30 Pages
NEW-PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT IN TOURISM COMPANIES CASE STUDIES ON NATURE-BASED ACTIVITY OPERATORS

Raija Komppula
University of Joensuu Department of Economics Box 111 FIN-80101 JOENSUU Raija.Komppula@joensuu.fi

ABSTRACT New product development in tourism companies has been a nearly ignored theme in tourism marketing literature. Research on product development has in major studies handled destinations, development of resorts or sites as a total tourist product. This paper will introduce two case studies, which will aim to help us to identify the major problems as well as key phases of the new product development process in a small tourism company. The two examples represent Finnish activity operators, which at the moment have the
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Middleton 1989, Middleton & Clarke 2001, Holloway & Robinson 1995, Seaton & Bennet, Smith 1994 ) use the term ”product” instead of the term ”service” when they refer to the offering of the company targeted for the customer. Authors often refer to the service marketing literature when introducing the characteristics of the industry but use the traditional marketing management terminology when discussing the product/service.

In this article we try to combine the terminologies of tourism marketing, services marketing and product development and focus on the specific tourist products produced by individual tourism businesses. Our aim is to discuss the product development, especially the new-product formulation in small tourism businesses. There has been little interest in the research field in new-product development processes in small scale tourism companies, how the new innovations are developed into product concepts in individual tourism companies, although especially in rural tourism development projects all over the Europe the authorities and marketing organisations call for new tourist products. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the processes through which the companies manage to satisfy the changing needs of their customers by producing new product offerings.

In chapter two we first discuss the components of the specific tourist product produced by an
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