Tourism Innovation Lab

Discover the partnerships being forged at TRU to combine the powers of a technology incubator, a destination marketing organization, and a university to create a source of programmatic innovation.

The pioneering concept of the TRU Tourism Innovation Lab is that we adapt technology incubation programs to the tourism industry as a methodology for building capacity for tourism destination development and innovation.

The TRU Tourism Innovation Lab program was created to teach undergraduate students about entrepreneurship, to show these students how they can be incredible sources of innovation for tourism. Students learn to use design thinking as a skill set for innovation and iteration, and in the process improve their creative confidence.


Alexis Dyck

I feel confident in my ability to design and create a tourism product with the key learnings I discovered in this course. It really is possible to turn my imaginations into reality. This course enables me to think outside the box to generate and implement an entrepreneurial mindset into my project.

— Alexis Dyck
Bachelor of Tourism Management

I feel confident in my ability to design and create a tourism product with the key learnings I discovered in this course. It really is possible to turn my imaginations into reality. This course enables me to think outside the box to generate and implement an entrepreneurial mindset into my project.

— Alexis Dyck
Bachelor of Tourism Management


How we innovate

Students

Focusing on building capacity in students for destination development and experience creation through entrepreneurial coaching, these are valuable skills whether starting a new business or working in the tourism industry.

Resources

With this program we are gaining access to more current resources from the destination marketing organizations and tourism industry partners, we are working to build a cutting-edge collection of business tools, reference guides, and market intelligence for students to use.

Coaching

Our partners from Tourism Kamloops and the Kamloops Innovation Center serve as coaches and networks for students, delivering industry related feedback and insights.

Funding

We know it is hard for students financially and that without some sort of incentive they would not be able to pursue a tourism start-up business. Our solution is to provide students in the summer Tourism Venture Acceleration Program with a grant/stipend of $4,000 to ensure they have the time necessary to work on their business. This money comes from generous donations from our partners and from grant agencies.


Our program concept

In-class

Students in TMGT 4010 get experiential learning from the lab

Selection

Students pitch their ideas to a panel of judges

Program

Summer program coaching and money for investigating the idea

Start-up

Market-ready business or further incubation


Our primary founders

David Carter

David Carter
Assistant Teaching Professor Tourism Management, Founder and Director of the TRU Tourism Innovation Lab and the professor for the lab course: Experience Creation and Product Development

Lisa Strachan

Lisa Strachan
Director, Destination Development and Trade Relations, Tourism Kamloops

Lincoln Smith

Lincoln Smith
Executive Director, Kamloops Innovation


Thank you to our backers