Turning “Learning” to Innovation in Tourism: The Theory of the “Tourism Learning Area”

Çankır B., Gün N. E.

in: Hospitality & Tourism: Managerial perspectives & Practices, Elbeyi Pelit,Hasan Hüseyin Soybali,Ali Avan, Editor, Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., Berlin, pp.43-62, 2020

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.
  • City: Berlin
  • Page Numbers: pp.43-62
  • Editors: Elbeyi Pelit,Hasan Hüseyin Soybali,Ali Avan, Editor


It is observed that a “learning-oriented mentality change” is needed in order that tourism areas can be developed within the scope of strategic mind and included among the future tourism trends. In this context, learning forms the basis of this study as the main factor that establishes the connections between innovation, competitiveness, and sustainability, which are the current and future concepts in tourism. The research consists of a conceptual analysis study that examines the theory of the “tourism learning area” and its place in future tourism strategies. The aim is to set forth the importance and necessity of the concept of “learning area”, which is defined as the adaptation of organizational and interactive learning to areas and institutions, in terms of innovation and transformation in tourism. This study maintains that, as with everyone and every field, tourism should also become more “learned” on an individual, organizational, regional, sectoral, and, of course, national and international levels, and this is the only way to achieve success. In this context, it is thought that “learning areas” can become “earning areas” over time. This is where the importance of turning “learning” into “innovation” emerges.  Considering the global tourism trends, it is clearly seen that “learning” and “innovation” are necessary for the competitiveness and sustainability of the tourism sector. This study, which reveals the theory and scope of tourism learning area within the conceptual analysis, argues that the tourism sector should be competitive, and it should adopt the approach of the “learning area” and always carry on its activities with knowledge and in cooperation in order to develop and implement plans and policies, accordingly.