Purpose: This paper makes a literature review in order to analyze the current state of innovation in tourism companies and know the future research lines on the subject. Design/methodology: The study chose a content analysis, which purpose was to examine the scientific journal articles about tourism, business management and economic-administrative studies, considering Science Direct, Taylor & Francis, EBSCOHost and REDALYC databases. The procedure involves filtering papers based on criteria of relevance as addressing the issue and current facts (texts inscribed in the period 2008-2015). As a result 78 publications based on bibliographic content matrices were analyzed and classified according to their thematic profile. Moreover, a search for bases outside the above data was done, in order to know the situation of tourism companies in the Mexican context. Findings: The review shows that papers are concentrated in six broad categories: a) organizational innovation, b) innovation strategies, c) innovation in products and processes, d) technological innovation, e) knowledge management in innovation and f) innovation models. Most studies are given in the context of hotels and restaurants; showing that innovation in tourism companies is an emerging theme study that will strengthen the development and competitiveness of the sector itself. Originality/value: It represents an innovative contribution by providing information on how it has been addressed the issue of innovation in the context of tourism companies -restaurants and hotels-, besides provides an overview of research conducted in Mexico on the topic, being of interest to the companies and academic community.