Paradigm lost? The changing fortunes of sustainable tourism

Elliott-White, Martin and Hughes, Heather and Farrell, Helen (2009) Paradigm lost? The changing fortunes of sustainable tourism. In: ATHE Annual Conference 2009, 2-4 December 2009, Losehill Hall, Peak District National Park.

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Abstract

In line with the conference theme, we have started from an observation that alternative, minority and elite forms of sustainable tourism have for many years been over-represented in the academic journal literature, thereby overshadowing (or even foreclosing on) important debates on the future of mass tourism, as well as other forms of tourism (such as social tourism, domestic tourism and even virtual tourism) that might contribute to a more meaningful debate about the nature of sustainability (or move us beyond this discourse).

The paper presents a survey of the coverage that tourism journals have given to such issues in the belief that we need a more critical awareness of how our knowledge about tourism development has been shaped by deeply-held assumptions on the part of scholars. We began by using Google Scholar and CABI for articles over the last 15 years with keywords “sustainable tourism” in the title: perhaps predictably, this yielded several thousand results. We therefore narrowed our searches to the top 10 tourism journals, using the rankings suggested by McKercher et al (2006). The appearance of this keyword/ phrase was then charted by date, to demonstrate a “sustainable tourism lifecycle”, in which the term gained popularity in the academic literature, widening its influence from specialist forms of tourism to more general, and then appeared to “stagnate” in later years. As a term, it appears recently to have fallen out of favour. We suggest some reasons for this pattern.

In addition, we have undertaken a more detailed analysis of coverage based on year of publication, journal title, study location, type of tourism, research paradigm and method (quantitative, qualitative or mixed).

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Presentation)
Additional Information:In line with the conference theme, we have started from an observation that alternative, minority and elite forms of sustainable tourism have for many years been over-represented in the academic journal literature, thereby overshadowing (or even foreclosing on) important debates on the future of mass tourism, as well as other forms of tourism (such as social tourism, domestic tourism and even virtual tourism) that might contribute to a more meaningful debate about the nature of sustainability (or move us beyond this discourse). The paper presents a survey of the coverage that tourism journals have given to such issues in the belief that we need a more critical awareness of how our knowledge about tourism development has been shaped by deeply-held assumptions on the part of scholars. We began by using Google Scholar and CABI for articles over the last 15 years with keywords “sustainable tourism” in the title: perhaps predictably, this yielded several thousand results. We therefore narrowed our searches to the top 10 tourism journals, using the rankings suggested by McKercher et al (2006). The appearance of this keyword/ phrase was then charted by date, to demonstrate a “sustainable tourism lifecycle”, in which the term gained popularity in the academic literature, widening its influence from specialist forms of tourism to more general, and then appeared to “stagnate” in later years. As a term, it appears recently to have fallen out of favour. We suggest some reasons for this pattern. In addition, we have undertaken a more detailed analysis of coverage based on year of publication, journal title, study location, type of tourism, research paradigm and method (quantitative, qualitative or mixed).
Keywords:Sustainable tourism, social tourism, domestic tourism, virtual tourism
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N840 International Tourism
N Business and Administrative studies > N890 Tourism, Transport and Travel not elsewhere classified
N Business and Administrative studies > N800 Tourism, Transport and Travel
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Business School
ID Code:2628
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:04 Oct 2010 16:45
Last Modified:15 Aug 2011 10:23

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