McCamley, Claire and Gilmore, Audrey (2016) Entrepreneurial co-creation in emerging heritage tourism regions; the role of entrepreneurial networks. In: Academy of Marketing Conference 2016, 4th - 7th July 2016, Northumbria University, Newcastle. (Unpublished)

This paper examines stakeholder networking and its role in entrepreneurial co-creation in the context of heritage tourism. The heritage tourism scenario provides rich scope to examine this behaviour, given the explicit need for stakeholder collaboration in order to develop a sustainable tourist product. The research seeks to understand the nature of entrepreneurial co-creation in this context, and intends to unveil the characteristics of such behaviour. Furthermore, the outputs of co-creation, as well as their value will be a key consideration of this research. The paper draws on networking theory, and views this as a means of achieving innovation among entrepreneurs. Furthermore, in this instance, co-creation takes place between entrepreneurs, within their stakeholder networks. A qualitative approach is taken, using in-depth interviews for data collection. Key business and community stakeholders are the subject of this research. Preliminary findings have indicated evidence of entrepreneurial co-creation, supported by stakeholder networks, in two heritage regions; the Mournes and the Causeway Coast and Glens, Northern Ireland. Such behaviour is an attempt to create an improved tourism offering, with benefits for local communities, businesses and indeed tourists. Further research is required in order to fully explore the characteristics and outputs of this behaviour.

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