Tourism product and service innovation to avoid 'strategic drift'

Larry Dwyer, Deborah Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Dealing with change in the external environment creates substantial challenges for tourism managers. Given the complexity of strategy formulation it is difficult for managers to analyse all aspects of their environment or establish precise objectives, consequently business strategies tend to be characterised by small strategic adjustments or ‘incrementalism’. However, these marginal adjustments of strategy within an organisation's existing culture may lead to strategic drift reflecting strategies that are inconsistent with changes taking place in the external environment. The paper begins with a brief overview of the global trends that comprise the remote environment of tourism organisations. It argues that the standard response of tourism organisations to changes in the remote environment can be characterised as ‘strategic incrementalism’. The paper also addresses the concern that strategic incrementalism can give rise to ‘strategic drift’. In the face of changing global trends the paper explores some of the barriers that must be overcome, discussing seven areas of importance on which managers can focus to assist them to avoid strategic drift
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-335
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Tourism product and service innovation to avoid 'strategic drift''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this