Education for Tourism Development

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1 Abstract: Education for Tourism Development David Airey 1 University of Surrey, UK Successful tourist development depends in part upon appropriate education provision. At the same time, the needs of tourist development must inform the education curriculum. This paper explores the relationships between education and development. Tourist development is a complex process that demands a range of knowledge both of the mechanics of development and of its wider influences and implications. Tourism education needs to ensure that it provides a breadth of knowledge and understanding that allows this to take place. Keywords: curriculum, knowledge, tourist development, vocational. INTRODUCTION There are very close links between education and tourist development. Figure 1 attempts to summarise these. coverage of Nearly all tourism education programmes include Figure 1: Education and tourist development Student knowledge Education Graduate employment Trained employees Tourist Development Understanding tourist development, often in a module or modules with the title Tourism Planning and Development. This obviously provides students with knowledge about tourist development. For example, in her study of tourism undergraduate programmes in the UK, Stuart-Hoyle (2003) found modules with the title tourism policy and planning/development among the most frequently cited as forming a part of the programme. From such programmes many graduates spend at least parts of their careers in employment related to tourist development hence contributing to the development process. There are also links in the fact that nearly all tourist development 1 Professor David Airey, School of Management, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7ZH, UK (Tel: +44 (0) ; Fax: +44 (0) ;

2 projects will include elements related to securing trained employees and providing human resource development and training, frequently needing to draw upon the services of the colleges and universities. Indeed after expenditure on capital development projects the investment in human resources is normally the biggest item of expenditure. And finally tourism researchers have made important contributions to our understanding of tourism development. However, as an educationist, just as important as the contribution by education to tourism development is the contribution that tourism development can make to education, particularly in helping to frame the curriculum. Against this background, this paper seeks to explore further the relationship between education and tourist development, particularly to highlight the issues for the tourism curriculum. After all if education is to make an effective contribution to tourist development it is essential that the curriculum is framed appropriately. The paper starts with a brief introduction to tourist development which then provides a framework for setting out the knowledge requirements which in turn leads into a consideration of the curriculum requirements. TOURIST DEVELOPMENT Tourist development, as pointed out by Pearce (1989) is a complex concept, its complexity rooted on the one hand in the multi-faceted nature of tourism and on the other by the lack of an unequivocal definition of development. As Pearce suggests, the term development is used to refer both to a process and to a state. Put tourism and development together and complexities are compounded. Models of tourist development have been put forward in attempts to elucidate the concept and notably to explain the stages of development. Given the complexities and the need for explanation it is perhaps not surprising that these models include some of the most widely quoted work in tourism, for example Miossec s model of tourist development (1976, 1977) and Butler s tourist area life cycle (1980). Indeed much of the thinking about tourist development is based upon the development of models and these generally have two points in common. They endeavour to bring together the two key elements of the process: the creation and development of tourism demand: and the planning and development of tourism supply.

3 Based on this background a simple model of tourism development is presented in Figure 2. This shows at the centre that the development of tourism is about the development of Figure 2: Knowledge and tourism development Disciplines (Finance, Marketing, HR, Geography etc.) Micro Planning (project appraisal) Tourist Development Supply Demand Positive Negative Context (sustainability, ethics, stewardship) Macro Planning (policy and planning) supply on the one hand and demand on the other. The development of the supply will include the infrastructure and superstructure and will be provided by both the public and private sectors. The development of the demand will relate to the measures, again by the public and private sectors, to influence the demand patterns and flows, and will include organisational arrangements and marketing activities. For both the supply and the demand side the process of development can be seen as involving positive measures or incentives to assist as well as negative measures to control or prevent development. Examples of investment incentives or planning restrictions to influence supply and promotional campaigns or car parking restrictions to influence demand are plentiful to illustrate this process.

4 While this might provide a starting point for understanding tourist development it hardly gets into the background to understand the development process or to make effective development decisions. For this four broad areas of knowledge are identified as contributing to an understanding of development. The first are what may be considered as the contributing disciplines of finance, marketing and human resource development as well as geography, environmental science among others, all of which represent key ingredients to the development process. The second and third relate to the micro and macro levels of the development process itself namely, project appraisal and policy and planning. The fourth extends into the broader context of sustainability, ethics and stewardship. Ultimately development decisions need a combination of knowledge, both practical and theoretical. TOURISM KNOWLEDGE AND CURRICULUM In order to link tourist development to tourism knowledge and to the curriculum, the work of Tribe (1997, 1999) provides an effective starting point. Tribe identified three areas where knowledge about tourism is developed. One of these is the knowledge developed outside the academic community, so called extradisciplinary knowledge from industry, government, think tanks, interest groups, research institutes and consultancies (Tribe, 1999:103). The second is the more traditional academic knowledge developed in academia for which, according to Tribe (1999:103), disciplinary based methodology and peer review are the hallmarks of quality. This type of knowledge is the normal underpinning for higher level study. As far as tourism is concerned this type of knowledge has been developed in the many disciplines and fields of study that contribute to an understanding of tourism. To this extent tourism is a multi-disciplinary. The third type of knowledge, also from the academic community, is what is referred to as interdisciplinary in that scholars have drawn upon more than one discipline to explain a tourism problem. Historically, extradisciplinary knowledge has played a large part in tourism programmes. This is not surprising given the relatively recent origin of tourism as an area of study and the extent to it developed from a need to understand a sector of the economy. As it has developed, knowledge from the underpinning disciplines, economics, geography, planning, environmental studies to name a few, have strengthened the discipline base and allowed tourism to extend and draw upon a wider field of expertise. To relate this to the curriculum, Tribe s work again provides a starting point. Figure 3 provides an illustration. Beginning with the idea of a framework to represent the space

5 which he describes as the expanse or area that contains the possible contents of a curriculum (Tribe 1999:111) Tribe goes on to divide the space along two axes: the liberal-vocational axis and the reflection-action axis. The first represents the different ends of the curriculum, essentially the degree of vocational focus. This runs from curricula that are concerned with the world of work to those that are concerned with the world of study. The second indicates the different stance or mode of study and expression Figure 3: Curriculum space Stance Ends Reflection Action Liberal Vocational Vocational/Action Source: Tribe (1999) that the curriculum employs to achieve its ends, from those that are concerned with putting ideas into practice to those more concerned with the cognitive processes of the mind. Using this framework as a guide, tourism education had its origins in the vocational-action quadrant of the curriculum space. In other words the programmes were concerned with understanding the world of practice and putting that practice into action. To some extent most tourism programmes still retain a strong presence in this area although as noted already the development of knowledge has provided plenty of opportunities for programmes to explore other areas beyond practice. TOURISM EDUCATION AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

6 Returning now to tourism development, the four broad areas of knowledge set out in Figure 2 (disciplines, micro planning, macro planning and context), can be related to Tribe s outline of tourism knowledge and the curriculum. Initial thinking about tourism development in education programmes emerged from the practice of planning and development activities. Hence, education provision began with a heavy emphasis on the practice of planning. This represents a kind of extra-disciplinary knowledge with associated orientation toward the vocational-action quadrant of the curriculum. In other words tourism programmes began by dealing with planning issues, practices and project appraisal, designed to provide students with an understanding of the process. Indeed this remains an important element of current programmes and is reflected in associated texts (Inskeep (1991) provides a good example) many of which provide case studies of particular development projects. At the next level, contributions from the various underpinning disciplines have added to the understanding of tourist development. These includes areas such as finance, marketing and human resources which to a great extent still focus on vocational-action, although in areas such as organisation and consumer behaviour their coverage extends beyond this. They also include other disciplines such as geography and political studies. It was notably the contribution of geographers that began to take the consideration of tourist development away from the purely vocational. Pearce (1987) provided a text which dealt with the issues presented by tourist development in a more theoretical, conceptual way, more akin to Tribe s liberal-reflection quadrant while the work of Butler (1980) as early as 1980, in his Tourist Area Life Cycle, provides one example of the conceptualisation of the development process, drawing upon a range of discipline areas in a way that is interdisciplinary. It is these approaches that begin to provide the basis for the academic community to make a significant contribution to the thinking and practice about tourist development over and above providing greater efficiencies in existing practice. The final broad area of knowledge about tourist development provides the overall context. Issues such as sustainability, ethics and stewardship have to some extent been prioritised within the academic community as important ingredients in the understanding of development. But they have also become, at least, a part of the practice of tourist development in the form, for example, of environmental impact assessment. But this area of knowledge really extends beyond the mechanics of ensuring that due attention is paid to the wider consequences of development. The important point for educators is that they are able to challenge and open the thinking of the next generation of professionals in a way that makes them aware of the wider responsibilities of development. It is no longer

7 sufficient for development simply to meet the needs of the market and the shareholders. There is a wider group of stakeholders and a wider set of responsibilities that need to be satisfied if development is to be successful in the longer term. The requirement for this knowledge as a concomitant part of tourist development is reflected in the need for multidisciplinary and inter-disciplinary knowledge in education programmes. It is in this area that education can make a real contribution to the future of tourist development. CONCLUSION The development of tourism destinations is clearly a complex process with wide ranging effects in both the short and long-terms. It requires knowledge both in the mechanics of planning and development issues, including planning law and processes as well project appraisal. But it also needs knowledge in the broadest sense of the word about the meaning and nature of development and its consequences. This clearly needs what Tribe has termed extra-disciplinary knowledge and it needs education programmes that have a focus on the vocational-action area of the curriculum. But it also needs the inputs of wider knowledge from a range of disciplines and which will allow education programmes to encompass other curriculum areas including the liberal and reflective domains. The next generation of tourist developers will need to be able to exercise good stewardship of the world s scarce resources and the basis for this is found in the wider aspects of the curriculum. The days of tourism development modules being solely concerned with planning regulation and appraisal are over. They now need to take an approach that can encompass liberal and reflective learning as well. REFERENCES Butler R.W. (1980) The concept of a tourist area cycle of evolution: implications for management of resources, Canadian Geographer, 24(1), Inskeep E. (1991) Tourism Planning: an integrated and sustainable development approach, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. Miossec J.M. (1976) Elements pour une theorie de l espace touristique, Les Cahiers du Tourisme, C-36, CHET: Aix-en-Provence.

8 Miossec J.M. (1977) Un modele de l espace touristique, L Espace Geographique, 6(1), Tribe J. (1997) The indiscipline of tourism, Annals of Tourism Research 24(3), Tribe J. (1999) The Philosophic Practitioner: Tourism Knowledge and the Curriculum, University of London, unpublished PhD thesis. Pearce D. (1989) Tourist Development, Harlow: Longman. Stuart-Hoyle M. (2003) The purpose of undergraduate tourism programmes in the UK, Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education 2(1),

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