An Investigation into the Tourism and Hospitality Scholarly Activity Currently Being Undertaken in Irish Higher Education Institutions
O'Connor, Noëlle, Baum, Tom, Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sports and Tourism Education
The purpose of this article is to describe the tourism and hospitality scholarly activity currently taking place in Irish higher education (HE) institutions. A number of approaches to tourism and hospitality research are identified in the literature. In order to understand the policy and practice within the Irish HE sector, qualitative research was conducted through a survey of tourism and hospitality academics and researchers within Irish HE institutions. The findings suggest that tourism and hospitality scholarly activity in Ireland is being carried out in many ways, including through joint research projects between Irish HE institutions and industry. This is a positive step towards achieving research and industry harmony. The development of stand-alone research centres within these institutions can also promote and attract funding for tourism and hospitality research activities.
Keywords: Research; Academic; Scholarly activity; Tourism; Hospitality; Ireland
This paper investigates the tourism and hospitality scholarly activity currently being undertaken within tourism and hospitality in Irish HE institutions. The main aims of the research are to assess the linkages between education and research and to identify research issues in relation to tourism and hospitality scholarly activity within these institutions, to facilitate validating theory and to provide advice for tourism and hospitality education decision-makers. This paper proposes changes to the Irish interpretation of the term 'research' by involving the term 'scholarly activity' and recommends a suitable course of action, one which demonstrates the scholarly activity taking place.
Brief review of tourism research approaches
Research involves a diverse blending of an enormous range of skills and activities. To be a good social researcher, you have to be able to work well with a wide range of people, understand the specific methods used to conduct research, understand the subject that you are studying and be able to convince someone to give you the funds to study it, stay on track and on schedule, and to speak and write persuasively (Trochim, 2008). Brown (1980) advocates that the aim of tourism research is to supply data that will help tourism managers when making decisions. Tourism research is an exploratory process that can be differentiated from other forms of exploration by three distinctive requirements: objectivity, reproducibility and systemisation.
According to Jennings (2001), research is an important tool for the tourism industry both nationally and internationally. It provides information for planning and management at the local, regional, national and international levels and offers an insight into the expectations, impacts, motivations, needs and levels of satisfaction of tourists. It highlights the educational needs of commercial operators and service providers and generates temporal views of the past, present and future (Jennings).
Jennings (2001) also maintains that the call for such research is essential owing to tourism's strong growth in the global economy. It could ensure that planning for service provision would be effective and forward-directed rather than reactive to past trends. The enhancement of information technology is also influencing the conduct of tourism research. Information and communications technology (ICT) provides another medium for accessing research participants via online research technologies and methods of conducting research. On the whole, tourism research needs to move to the stage of being interdisciplinary and also towards being a discipline in its own right. Ultimately, it should value qualitative as well as quantitative research methodologies in developing the tourism phenomenon even further (Jennings).
Elsworth, Yoon, and Bai (1999) contend that for tourism research to receive the much needed attention and, as a result, …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: An Investigation into the Tourism and Hospitality Scholarly Activity Currently Being Undertaken in Irish Higher Education Institutions. Contributors: O'Connor, Noëlle - Author, Baum, Tom - Author. Journal title: Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sports and Tourism Education. Volume: 7. Issue: 2 Publication date: November 2008. Page number: 15+. © OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY Apr 2010. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.