The goal of the Alliance for Innovators and Researchers in Tourism and Hospitality is the transfer of knowledge on innovation and entrepreneurship between academia and the tourism industry. The 2019 AIRTH Conference contributed to this goal by bringing together entrepreneurs, tourism managers, and academics in Innsbruck, Austria, from September 12-14.
The conference included five industry and 15 academic presentations and discussed business innovation cases. A total of 42 participants from Japan, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Norway, Ireland, Turkey, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Austria, Germany, the USA, and Sweden attended the conference.
Conference materials are available here
A key feature of AIRTH Innovation-in-Motion conferences are visits to innovative venues. Hence, instead of remaining confined to one conference venue, the delegates visited several tourism innovation-relevant locations. During the visit, conference participants presented their work and participated in guided venue tours. This year the conference took the participants around the Tyrol region, visiting :
Best Academic Contribution: Dr. Ziene Mottiar,Technological University of Dublin, Ireland won for her presentation entitled "An Examination of the Role of Place-Making in Tourism as a Driver of Innovation".
Best Practitioner Contribution: Mateja Hrvatin Kozlovič for presenting "Istrian Breakfast - A Local Bite". (https://www.istrianbreakfast.si/). Her innovative tourism product offers locally sourced breakfast options and access to local attractions targeted towards short term rental apartment guests in Slovenian Istria. The Istrian Breakfast thus enables guests to immerse themselves into the rich flavors of gastronomic heritage and visit local sight
A key sponsor for this conference was the Slovenian Tourist Board. It generously provided financial support for several Slovenian delegates to attend the conference. Additional support came from the City of Innsbruck, the State of Tyrol, the University of Innsbruck, and Virginia Tech. Such a positive support response indicates that the AIRTH model, in which academia and industry intensively collaborate and exchange ideas, is also appealing for governmental and non-profit institutions. The outcome is especially encouraging as governmental support is usually difficult to obtain for traditional academic or purely industry-oriented events.
About AIRTH and our previous / future conferences:
AIRTH was established in 2017 to connect scholars and practitioners engaged in innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism. The goal is to lead a discourse on tourism innovation and entrepreneurship that enables the industry to learn from academics, while academics can learn from or observe the industry in action to find solutions for current and future problems and challenges.
Annual AIRTH conferences take place every two years. In alternate years AIRTH collaborates with other established conferences to organize special innovation research tracks. This allows AIRTH to connect with a diverse pool of researchers and practitioners. The first annual AIRTH conference was organized in Portrož, Slovenia, in 2017
and was hosted by Encuentros and Faculty of Tourism Studies - Turistica, University of Primorska. In 2018
AIRTH organized an innovation track at the annual ATLAS conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
, we are organizing an innovation track at ENTER2020, the leading eTourism conference organised annually by the International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism (IFITT), will be held at University of Surrey in Guildford, UK on 8-10 January 2020.