Archive for April, 2016

Spirit House: Reconceptualising Restaurant Dining

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Spirit House is an innovative Thai restaurant and cooking school located near Yandina on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia [1]. The restaurant aims to recreate tropical Asia and deliver an authentic and memorable Thai dining experience. A Spirit House is a shrine to Thai animist spirits and is designed to bring peace and prosperity to the homes or businesses they adorn [2]. The restaurant is situated in stunning tropical Asian gardens, adorned with tranquil ponds, a waterlily lake, statutes, secluded courtyards and paths. The restaurant building consists of indoor-outdoor rooms connecting the interior with the external setting; all the furniture, artworks and carvings were sourced from Thailand to enhance and reinforce the Thai dining experience. As Australian Gourmet Traveller [3] describes: “Spirit House shouts “special occasion” from the moment you arrive through its gateway arch.” It has won numerous awards and accolades including three time winner of “Best Restaurant – Sunshine Coast”, a finalist in the “Best Restaurant Queensland” and recipient of the American Express Hall of Fame Award for Tourism Restaurants [4].

In cultivating a dining experience going beyond the menu, Spirit House is an example of “product innovation” [5]. The extent of the experiential component is such that Spirit House could even be classed as a “paradigm innovation” [5]. Specifically, by reconceptualising dining as an element within a broader Thai experience, the restaurant delivers the far more than food – it delivers the experience of an imagined escape to Thailand, a shift that transforms the restaurant to a venue for entertainment and escape.

Recommended Citation

Reid, S. R. M. (2016). Spirit House: Reconceptualising Restaurant Dining. INNOTOUR Innovation Cases. From


  1. Spirit House. Spirit House. 2016  22 April 2016]; Available from:
  2. Travelfish. Thai spirit houses and spirit trees. 2016  22 April 2016]; Available from:
  3. Australian Gourmet Traveller. Spirit House. 2016  22 April 2016]; Available from:
  4. Spirit House. Spirit House Restaurant. 2016  22 April 2016]; Available from:
  5. Tidd, J. and J. Bessant, Managing innovation: integrating technological, market and organizational change. Fifth ed. 2013: John Wiley & Sons.


Drones for people – Snowstorm

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

Engineering researchers and students at the National University of Singapore are working intensively with the ideas of private and individual air transport devises – drones which can carry a person. In 2016, the development has come to the point where the aircraft remain in the air for about five minutes, before the battery is unloaded and it needs to land again.

The developers are fascinated with the idea that anyone should be able to free themselves from traffic jams on the ground, but they acknowledge that it will probably take a long time before infrastructures and regulations are ready to accommodate for this. Meanwhile the idea is to gain an interest for drones among major amusement parks, as here it might be possible to create safe and closed environments for the flying experience.

Accordingly, the tourism sector can again – as happens with for example Virtual Reality – be the test scene for new technological innovations. Almost certainly a new facility that offers opportunities to fly will create a great interest, and the tourism environment may be a learning field for researchers as well as producers and authorities.