Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies

Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies

Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies

Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies


The first to focus solely upon qualitative research in tourism, this book combines discussions of the philosophies underpinning qualitative research, with reflexive chapters that demonstrate how these techniques can be used.Incorporating a range of case studies written by leading international scholars, this book makes clear the ways in which these pieces of research have been informed by the authors' epistemological, ontological and methodological standpoint. Based on a range of empirical tourism studies set in the context of theoretical discussion, it demonstrates the benefits of using a range of qualitative approaches to research tourism, exploring the ways in which a number of techniques, including participants observation, memory work, biographical diaries, focus groups and visual exercises, have been adopted by researchers from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to undertake empirical research in tourism.An indispensable text for final year undergraduates, Masters and PhD students embarking on research in the field, it also will be a valuable title for academics with an interest in either tourism research or qualitative methodology. Linking theory with research practice, it offers a holistic account of qualitative research in tourism.


This is a compelling book, to be read and thoughtfully considered by every serious researcher involved in tourism at the planning and management level.

The linguist Wick Miller once observed that no one has ever written an ethnography of academia - their goals, their methods and their behaviours. This unique volume might be the catalyst to prompt such a study. Dating to Aristotle, scholars in every discipline have diligently sought 'the truth' but their philosophies and products have varied according to the dictates of the individual field of study.

The global importance of tourism has generated the need for answers to problems such as economic development, social impact, stakeholder conflicts, environmental degradation and political control. These questions all seek 'the truth' but the orientation is different. The business world wants to know 'who, what, when and where' for that is their 'bottom line'. Their approach is essentially quantitative, and statistically oriented for forecasting. By contrast, researchers involved in heritage, habitat and history quest for 'why': what roles did or do these elements play in human society and its survival? To what degree have they changed, and how should they be interpreted now? What is appropriate authenticity?

As the editors point out, a resurgent interest in the qualitative methodology as it applies to the study of tourism surfaced a little over a decade ago but lacked a substantive base. Here, in this first-of-a-kind compendium, a body of recognised scholars have outlined diverse research techniques and illustrated them with case studies. Culture, as a set of human survival customs, may be a collective noun but the behaviours of individuals operating within their respective ethnic bonds can seldom be ranked on a scale of 1 to 10.

The phenomenal growth of tourism in the past five decades has dramatically changed global lifestyles to include tourism, and the impetus for still greater growth is rooted in globalisation and the expanding economies of Asia. We in the West have much to learn about these future 'new' tourists who will have discretionary income, leisure time, and even government

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