Co-Designing Smart Tourism


  • Janne J. Liburd University of Southern Denmark, Universitetsparken 1, 6000 Kolding, Denmark; phone: 65501576, e-mail:
  • Tanja K. Nielsen University of Southern Denmark
  • Chris Heape University of Southern Denmark


Smart tourism, Co-creation, Tourism Co-design, Values, Denmark.


Emerging theories of smart tourism are chiefly concerned with how Internet Communication Technology and Big Data can influence marketing, product and destination development. The risk being that an overt focus on formal outcomes, namely technology, products and services, diverts attention from how things and operations are actually achieved. This paper challenges the notions of smart and value co-creation by introducing tourism co-design as a learning and experiment driven development process. Tourism co-design leverages the communicative interaction between people and enables tourism operators to change their practices. Based on fieldwork in the northern part of Denmark we explore how smart tourism can become smarter through tourism co-design processes. We argue that a shift is needed from: How can we efficiently achieve a more or less known goal? To: How can we effectively explore and give sense to something new and engage in processes that encourage the new to emerge? Tourism co-design enables values to transpire at multiple levels and engenders unknown possibilities that inform how smart tourism may be operationalised.




How to Cite

Liburd, J., Nielsen, T., & Heape, C. (2017). Co-Designing Smart Tourism. European Journal of Tourism Research, 17, 28–42. Retrieved from



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