Logies of Tourismology: The Need to Include Meta-Theories in Tourism Curricula

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This paper will explore the reasons for the absence of meta-theories in tourism studies curricula, and will then argue for the necessity of including such theories in curricula development. Tourism as an academic discipline in tertiary education has matured significantly over the past few decades (Airey & Tribe, 2005). Academic programme co-ordinators and administrators have become increasingly cognizant of the complex issues inherent in contemporary tourism studies. As a result, they no longer need to take the initial step of familiarising themselves with the breadth of the tourism field in developing appropriate tourism curricula, as highlighted by Gunn (1998). Nonetheless, the various models of academic curricula established over the years suggest that the full scope of tourism has yet to be fully circumscribed, in terms of its multi-disciplinary origin and its multifarious concomitant issues. Doctoral research projects and working theses are increasingly adopting inter-disciplinary, multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary perspectives to the study of tourism, highlighting the benefit of integrating the foundational meta-theories (theories devised to analyze theoretical systems) of these “mother disciplines” in post-graduate tourism programmes. This research note explores this void and relies on both classical educational perspectives and practical arguments in support of such integration.


Keywords: Tourism, Discipline, Meta-Theory, Curriculum
Stream: Sociology, Geography
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Patrick L’Espoir Decosta

PhD Candidate, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China

Patrick L'Espoir Decosta is a 2nd year Ph.D research student in Tourism Management at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is studying the lingering effects of colonialism in the tourism development of former island colonies. His research takes a socio-historical approach to tourism development, and his topics of interest include cross- and trans-disciplinary methodological contributions in tourism research. Patrick believes tourism studies need to encompass a broader range of social sciences disciplines in order to advance and mature as a legitimate academic research discipline.
Patrick obtained his MSc in Hotel and Tourism Management from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a BCom in Tourism Management from the University of South Africa (Pretoria).

Alexander Grunewald

PhD Research Student, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China

Alex commenced his PhD studies at PolyU’s SHTM in July 2006. Before
starting his PhD programme he was a research assistant with teaching
assignments in international Financial Accounting and Industry Analysis at the
International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef, Bonn (IUAS). He received his BA(Hons) in Tourism Management from the University of Brighton (UK) in 2003 and his Master in Economics with a major in tourism management from IUAS in 2004. Previously, Alex participated in academic research projects and consultancy work. Additionally, he was appointed as a tutor at IUAS. Prior to his academic development, Alex completed a three year training as a hotel administrator with Hilton International (Munich) and Romantikhotels. During his higher education over the past years Alex completed placements in Germany,
Belgium, and England. Besides research work, Alex is engaged in teaching, and is
the president of the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals PolyU
Student Chapter.

Ref: I08P0474