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Special Issue "Business Model Innovation for Sustainability. Highlights from the Tourism and Hospitality Industry"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Angelo Natalicchio

Politecnico di Bari, Via Edoardo Orabona, 4, 70126 Bari BA, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: open innovation; innovation management; crowdsourcing
Guest Editor
Prof. Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli

Politecnico di Bari, Via Edoardo Orabona, 4, 70126 Bari BA, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: innovation management; technology strategy
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Angelo Presenza

University of Molise, Via Francesco De Sanctis, 1, 86100 Campobasso CB, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: innovation; entrepreneurship; management; tourism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Strategy and management disciplines are increasingly incorporating sustainable development into their long-established assumptions and frameworks, thus stimulating rich, new, and diverse lines of inquiry, as well as rethinking their theoretical foundations and practices. In particular, business model innovation (BMI) is emerging as a potential mechanism to integrate sustainability into business. Indeed, both modified and completely new business models can help develop integrative and competitive solutions by either radically reducing negative and/or creating positive external effects for the natural environment and society.

The conceptual exploration of the link between sustainability and BMI is new in literature, thus calling for additional research exploring their interplay. This Special Issue aims at contributing to the existing literature by investigating how BMI may contribute to sustainability, focusing the attention on the specific field of tourism and hospitality. This sector has experienced continued expansion and diversification over time, hence becoming one of the largest and fastest- growing economic sectors in the world. At the same time, a wide range of publications has shown that the tourism sector is living a controversial condition. Indeed, from one side, there are tourism activities becoming increasingly societally, economically and environmentally unsustainable. From the other, there is an increasing interest of tourists towards innovative and sustainable proposals.

Therefore, it follows that there are many open issues in the literature regarding how tourism and hospitality organizations can innovate their business models fostering sustainability. In line with the above debate, we invite original contributions that increase our comprehension of how businesses operating in the tourism and hospitality industry may innovate their business models to promote sustainable goals. We look for papers, with theoretical insights, empirical data analysis, case studies or other suitable methods to shed new light on a variety of topics, such as:

  • integrating creative and cultural contents with sustainable tourism experiences;
  • using technology to innovate and increase the sustainability of business models;
  • developing indicators to evaluate the sustainability of business models in the tourism and hospitality sector;
  • innovating business model through co-creation for sustainability;
  • sustainable entrepreneurship;
  • experiences of sustainable tourism and hospitality SMEs.

Dr. Angelo Natalicchio
Prof. Dr. Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli
Prof. Dr. Angelo Presenza
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sustainability Opportunities
  • Unsustainable tourism
  • Non-technological innovation
  • Technological innovation
  • Internal innovation options
  • External knowledge

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Business Model Innovation for Sustainability. Highlights from the Tourism and Hospitality Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010212
Received: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 27 December 2018 / Published: 4 January 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, we introduce the themes addressed and the approaches used in this Special Issue to investigate the relationship between business model innovation and sustainability in the hospitality and tourism industry. After presenting the topics under investigation, we briefly discuss how the [...] Read more.
In this paper, we introduce the themes addressed and the approaches used in this Special Issue to investigate the relationship between business model innovation and sustainability in the hospitality and tourism industry. After presenting the topics under investigation, we briefly discuss how the articles in the collection allow to unveil firms’ approaches used to innovate their business model focusing upon sustainable practices and goals. Therefore, by offering multiple perspectives of analysis, this Issue increases our comprehension and understanding of which sustainable strategies companies may adopt to compete in the tourism and hospitality sector. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
The What, Where, and Why of Airbnb Price Determinants
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4596; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124596
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 3 December 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (6977 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Breakthrough changes in the rental market have occurred with the introduction of peer-to-peer accommodation services such as Airbnb. This phenomenon is attracting tourists who contribute to the sustainability of local trade and the economic development of the city. This research enriches the current [...] Read more.
Breakthrough changes in the rental market have occurred with the introduction of peer-to-peer accommodation services such as Airbnb. This phenomenon is attracting tourists who contribute to the sustainability of local trade and the economic development of the city. This research enriches the current debate on the range of factors that influence Airbnb accommodation prices. To that end, a method was developed to understand the relationship between Airbnb accommodation attributes and listing prices; and to consider variables related to the properties’ location and surrounding urban environment, considering the touristic characteristics of the four Spanish Mediterranean Arc cities selected as case study. A multivariable analysis technique is used for estimating a hedonic price model that adopts the ordinary least squares and the quantile regression methods. The findings obtained for the impact of location on listing prices are contrary to previous studies. In fact, accommodation prices increase incrementally by 1.3% per kilometer from the tourist area, which in all four cases are situated in the historic area of the city. However, at the same time, accommodation prices decrease incrementally as distance from the coastline increases. Lastly, results related to how the listings’ accommodation, host, and advertising characteristics impact Airbnb prices concur with previous studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hotel Profiles Based on Environmental Management Practices: Evidence from a Study at an Alpine Destination
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4531; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124531
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 27 November 2018 / Published: 1 December 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1104 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper analyzes the investment in environmental management practices (EMPs) adopted by hotels within a community destination. The aim is twofold: (a) to understand whether hotels have changed their EMPs in the last ten years and, if so, how; (b) to analyze the [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the investment in environmental management practices (EMPs) adopted by hotels within a community destination. The aim is twofold: (a) to understand whether hotels have changed their EMPs in the last ten years and, if so, how; (b) to analyze the link between hotels’ environmental commitment and propensity of collaboration among local stakeholders. The research, carried out in 2015, involved all the hotels (N = 1.514) of Trentino, a community destination in the Italian Alps, through a CAWI survey (redemption rate 88.9%). The data analysis followed two steps: (1) frequency analysis to identify the EMPs adopted by hotels and to compare the data with the survey conducted in 2005; (2) multiple correspondence analysis and hierarchical ascendant cluster analysis to identify hotel profiles with different levels of environmental commitment. The results revealed new and original aspects of the propensities of hotels to invest in EMPs and identified three different environmental hotel profiles: not eco-friendly, proactive, and reactive. Proactive and reactive hotels have a greater propensity to invest in EMPs and to collaborate with the Destination Management Organisation and with other hotels. The research contributes to the scientific debate on EMP adoption and the extent to which stakeholder power and pressure influence the environmental sustainability strategies of hotels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Redesigning In-Flight Service with Service Blueprint Based on Text Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4492; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124492
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 25 November 2018 / Accepted: 26 November 2018 / Published: 29 November 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2087 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Airline services should be passenger-focused to be sustainable. In this study, we redesign an in-flight service process using a service blueprint while incorporating direct customer perceptions of service experiences. To incorporate these, we apply topic modeling to 64,706 passenger-written online reviews of airline [...] Read more.
Airline services should be passenger-focused to be sustainable. In this study, we redesign an in-flight service process using a service blueprint while incorporating direct customer perceptions of service experiences. To incorporate these, we apply topic modeling to 64,706 passenger-written online reviews of airline services. Passenger experiences of in-flight services are the sum of experiences from service encounters in all the subsequent steps and we assume that their direct perceptions of their experiences are faithfully contained in the online reviews. Topics extracted from the reviews can be regarded as service encounters based strongly on passenger experiences. Then, the service encounters are reorganized within the framework of a service blueprint. The results show that the complexity, a number of service steps, decreases by 38% compared to the benchmark service blueprint. However, the divergence, a latitude of service steps, should increase for a couple of service encounters. Moreover, we quantitatively analyze the divergence using the probability of word frequency statistically distributed across topics. The in-flight service using the proposed design could be sustainable with respect to customer-focused service while considering direct customer experiences in real-time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Hotel Industry in the Metropolitan Region of Rio De Janeiro: An Analysis of the Legacy of Accessibility in Civil Construction Projects Post Mega Events
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4261; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114261
Received: 16 October 2018 / Revised: 9 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 18 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2038 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article aims to analyze the civil construction projects of the hotel industry in the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, through statistical modeling, regarding the issue of accessibility. The key point of the study was to diagnose how these hotel construction [...] Read more.
This article aims to analyze the civil construction projects of the hotel industry in the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, through statistical modeling, regarding the issue of accessibility. The key point of the study was to diagnose how these hotel construction projects were prepared to receive disabled tourists during the period of Mega events. The methodology used is based on an analysis of the data obtained through the Inventory of the Tourist Offer of the State of Rio de Janeiro in the counties of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói, applied to the quantitative of approximately 400 hotel units. From the point of view of civil construction projects, an accurate diagnosis of accessibility was possible, pointing to the development of a benchmarking model. The relevance of the study is also to contribute to raising awareness of the tourist and civil engineering markets relating to people with disabilities or reduced mobility and the possibility of reversing the current scenario in Rio de Janeiro, since it can be emphasized that the investigated hotels do not show the necessary accessibility, due to the small number of hotels that reach the accessibility requirements of Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT NBR 9050: 2015). For civil construction, there is the accurate confirmation that the hotel industry of the Metropolitan Region is not accessible. For society in general, it has been observed that the Mega events that occurred in the city did not leave a legacy of accessibility. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding Travelers’ Behavior for Sustainable Smart Tourism: A Technology Readiness Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4259; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114259
Received: 23 October 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 18 November 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1099 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Smart tourism has contributed to making people’s travels easier and more enjoyable, but sometimes has a negative impact on their travel experience. The challenges travelers face while using smart devices have not been researched in detail and are relatively unknown. While most studies [...] Read more.
Smart tourism has contributed to making people’s travels easier and more enjoyable, but sometimes has a negative impact on their travel experience. The challenges travelers face while using smart devices have not been researched in detail and are relatively unknown. While most studies have considered the usefulness of smart devices in tourism, negative perceptions of smart tourism have rarely been discussed. Thus, this study investigates travelers’ risk perceptions of smart tourism from a technology readiness perspective. It examines the impact of optimism, innovativeness, insecurity, and discomfort on travelers’ usage intentions of smart devices through their perceived risks and benefits. To test the proposed model and corresponding hypotheses, a partial least squares analysis was performed on data collected from 250 survey respondents. The results showed that the perceived benefits of smart devices had a significant effect on usage intentions of smart devices while traveling. It was also confirmed that the influence of perceived risks depends on the characteristics of travelers. This study is significant as it is the first empirical study applying the TRI (Technology Readiness Index) model that examines the negative effects of smart devices on tourists during travel. The results of this study provide meaningful insights into smart tourism to companies and governments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Toward an Economically Sustainable Casino Industry: A Development of Customer Value Indicators Using an Analytic Hierarchy Process
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4255; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114255
Received: 24 September 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 17 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (579 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Today, the casino industry generates various economic effects and is being developed as the major tourism solution that can overcome the limitations of the tourist industry. With the economic benefits from the growth of casino industry in the world economy, we are to [...] Read more.
Today, the casino industry generates various economic effects and is being developed as the major tourism solution that can overcome the limitations of the tourist industry. With the economic benefits from the growth of casino industry in the world economy, we are to implement the policies to facilitate the growth of the industry, therefore, the scale of the international casino industry is on the rise, but the competitiveness on the national level is getting intensified. In order to survive in casino industry, it is necessary to make efforts to establish an economically sustainable casino company. To this end, in-depth study of the financial value of the casino industry for its customers is required and these efforts are important to enhance the competitiveness of the casino industry. In this study, we have made a meaningful approach to apply the customer’s life value to the casino industry. CLV means the financial value obtained by converting the profit to be obtained for a certain period of time from the customers into the present value based on the discount rate. Thus, the purpose of this study was to develop a model and indicators that can be objectively evaluated by finding the life value factor of a customer suitable for the casino industry. As a result, we formed the five components of customers’ lifetime value assessment model, thereby laying the foundation for management of the customers’ specific strategies and customers’ care. Based on the results of the study, the foundation for the competitive advantage in the casino industry could be established as we could contribute to ensure the substantiality of the competitiveness in casino industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Business Model Innovation for Sustainable Performance in Retail and Hospitality Industries
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3952; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113952
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 26 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (384 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the service sector, technological innovation is typically dominated by suppliers, and hence involves external knowledge that can be easily acquired and imitated by competitors. However, innovation that can sustain superior performance in retail and hospitality firms tends to be internal and non-technical, [...] Read more.
In the service sector, technological innovation is typically dominated by suppliers, and hence involves external knowledge that can be easily acquired and imitated by competitors. However, innovation that can sustain superior performance in retail and hospitality firms tends to be internal and non-technical, involving business models. Building on the perspectives of the resource-based view and dynamic capability, this study aims to understand how industry turbulence in retail and hospitality affects the sustainable competitive advantage of the firms operating in these service industries. Based on a quantitative study of 214 retail and food services companies, our study has empirically demonstrated that firms operating in an industry with high turbulence have a higher probability of achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. Second, our findings establish that a firm’s business model innovation (BMI) activities partially mediate this positive relationship. This suggests that BMI plays a role in enhancing the firm’s ability to address the challenges of the present, as well as prepare itself to adapt to the industry evolution and revolution of the future. BMI not only influences the acquisition and application of external innovations, it also affects the generation of internal innovations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation of Integrated Management Systems and Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives—A Romanian Hospitality Industry Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3684; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103684
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 11 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (410 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The growing market value of a company remains the main concern of the management, as well as of the shareholders. Implementing integrated management systems is not always easy and is not low-priced either, but the benefits to clients, management, employees, or shareholders are [...] Read more.
The growing market value of a company remains the main concern of the management, as well as of the shareholders. Implementing integrated management systems is not always easy and is not low-priced either, but the benefits to clients, management, employees, or shareholders are considerable. At the same time, the involvement of companies in corporate social responsibility activities represents a return of part of the benefits to the community, the benefits being found on multiple plans for all the stakeholders. Through this study, we aim to identify the effects of implementing integrated management systems and quantify the influence of corporate social responsibility initiatives on the market value of hospitality industry companies in Romania. Analyzing the results of the study demonstrates the existence of a direct correlation between the implementation of integrated management systems and the evolution of the economic performance of the companies. Also, the results reveal a positive correlation between the existence of corporate social responsibility initiatives and the increase of the market value of Romanian hotel industry companies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Open Innovation and Social Big Data for Sustainability: Evidence from the Tourism Industry
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3215; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093215
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 8 September 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1583 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper aims to contribute to the debate on Open Innovation in the age of Big Data by shedding new light on the role that social networks can play as enabling platforms for tourists’ involvement and sources for the creation and management of [...] Read more.
This paper aims to contribute to the debate on Open Innovation in the age of Big Data by shedding new light on the role that social networks can play as enabling platforms for tourists’ involvement and sources for the creation and management of valuable knowledge assets. The huge amount of data generated on social media by tourists related to their travel experiences can be a valid source of open innovation. To achieve this aim, this paper presents evidence of a digital tourism experience, through a longitudinal case study of a destination in Apulia, a Southern European region. The findings of the study demonstrate how social Big Data could open up innovation processes that could be of support in defining sustainable tourism experiences in a destination. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Business Models and Sustainability in Nature Tourism: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3226; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093226
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (695 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study explores the business model literature within nature tourism, focuses on its sustainability-related aspects, and adopts some of the results of the literature review by Reinhold et al. The research questions concern how scholars use and operationalize the business model concept in [...] Read more.
This study explores the business model literature within nature tourism, focuses on its sustainability-related aspects, and adopts some of the results of the literature review by Reinhold et al. The research questions concern how scholars use and operationalize the business model concept in the context of nature tourism, and to what extent sustainability-related aspects are included and discussed. A literature review was conducted including a total of 18 scientific articles from various disciplines. The findings suggest that scientific literature about business models in nature tourism is very limited, both in relation to the number of articles and their content. With regard to the latter, the business model concept is sometimes adopted without any clear definition, sustainability-related aspects—especially those relative to the environmental dimension—are scarcely discussed, the perspective adopted is usually static, and innovation for sustainability is only marginally included. This indicates a clear gap in the literature and a considerable potential for future studies. Full article
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