The steps towards responsible tourism: innovative digital education model developed in co-creation
Röntynen, Rositsa; Tunkkari-Eskelinen, Minna; Törn-Laapio, Anne (2021)
Academic Conferences International
All rights reserved. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
This paper introduces research about the benefits of co-creation for tourism developers. Taking sustainable development into account, the current situation in the tourism industry and the increasingly rapidly changing work life require flexibility and renewal of education. The competence of tourism professionals is not necessarily being developed and updated at the pace required by the industry. In many cases, tourism employees cannot combine their work schedule with studying. The opposite needs to be done – education needs to be brought closer to work life. In 2019 this was the background for launching a collaborative development of a new education model for responsible tourism as an empirical study. COVID-19 pandemic has increased the value of flexible learning even more. “The steps towards responsible tourism” project is a collaboration between five universities in Finland, co-funded by the European Social Fund. The five partnering organizations formed its formal network with more than 20 tourism-related experts. In the progress of the development work also several less committed actors were involved in the co-creation process. The research question of this study is: What is the value of co-creation for the actors participating in the production of the new digital education model? For this purpose, a case study was conducted. The data collection methods were participative observation by the participating experts, narratives of participants, and project documentation. The research aims at solutions for better support of the co-creation processes. The findings showed three different role perspectives: tourism industry representatives, service providers, and experts participating in the project. Transformative learning was evident in each of the roles. The phenomenon of swarming was also observed, which suggests openness for several views, self-directed periods and a social interaction period between the participants. It appeared that creativity in performance can be enhanced by facilitators encouraging the development of shared vision and understanding.