Barbara Kowalczyk, Marcin Olszewski
2018 Prace Komisji Geografii Przemysłu Polskiego Towarzystwa Geograficznego-Studies of the Industrial Geography Commission of the Polish Geographical Society, T. 32, z. 2, s. 299-310
Nowadays enterprises, including the smallest ones, are facing strong pressure of implementing innovative solutions, which are regarded as one of the key factors of the companies’ performance and de-velopment. Due to the immanent characteristics of hotel enterprises, knowledge derived from customers’ relations can play an important role in their innovation activities. The purpose of the article is to identify the importance of relations with customers in the innovative activities of hotel enterprises in Poland. The article presents the concept of User-Driven Innovation, as well as the current state of research on this issue in the tourism industry, particularly in hotel enterprises. The results of an empirical study conducted among 400 randomly selected hotels in Poland, are the key part of the article. According to the survey, customers’ relations play great role in the innovative activities of hotel enterprises. In addition, the main sources of inno-vations, as well as the scope of customer engagement in innovative activities are presented. Employees who directly contact the guests have a key role in acquiring and utilising knowledge coming from customers. The survey shows that Polish hotels are still at an early stage of adapting the concept of user-driven innovations. Moreover, the utilisation of knowledge from the clients for innovations requires intensification of the activi-ties in the field of knowledge, as well as human resources management.