Innovation is a primary aspect of economic growth and development and depends on the ability of entrepreneurs to create economic value by introducing new products or services, designing different production processes or rearranging organisational practices. The spreading of innovation is a key element in all economic sectors, including the forestry sector. Four types of innovation can be found in the forestry sector: product innovations (e.g., wood assortments), service innovations (e.g., biodiversity conservation and forest recreation), technological innovations (e.g., the introduction of new machinery, such as harvesters, processors or forwarders) and organisational innovations (e.g., changes in the production process or in the firm’s organisational structure). In this paper, we focus on service innovations linked to tourism and recreation in the forest using a comparative investigation. In particular, three types of recreational innovations in the forest (adventure parks, educational farms, and cultural attractions) were analysed within two case studies located poles apart (Auckland Region in New Zealand and Trentino in Italy). The results of a questionnaire, submitted during face-to-face interviews, to a sample of New Zealand and Italian entrepreneurs indicated the level of innovation in the forestry sector, the elements of weakness and strength of the innovation process, and the potential of the transferability of novelties into each of the two contexts.
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