A means-end approach to interpretation in sustainable tourism

Walker, Kaye (2006) A means-end approach to interpretation in sustainable tourism. In: Papers from Cutting Edge Research in Tourism: new directions, challenges and applications, pp. 1-17. From: Cutting Edge Research in Tourism: new directions, challenges and applications, 6-9 June 2006, Guildford, UK.

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Abstract

This paper presents the qualitative approach and methodology used to conduct a research program which investigates the role of interpretation in sustainable tourism. It introduces a new angle of approach, seeking a more emic understanding of ecotourism's contributions to sustainable tourism. It does this by facilitating the tourists' own identification or recognition of the personal significance and subsequent feelings of responsibility for their natural and cultural environment. It is hoped the constructiveness of this newly adapted qualitative method and research approach may be appreciated through its contribution to sustainable tourism theory building, ecotourism and cruise tourism bodies of knowledge, and interpretive research. It is anticipated that this approach may encourage new directions in tourism research and practice, as it not only attempts to overcome some major challenges in conducting ecotourism and cruise tourism research of a socio-cultural and environmental nature, but also with respect to the measurement and analysis of interpretive effectiveness and its role in sustainable tourism. It attempts to demonstrate that these pure research practices and their results may be effectively utilised in applied situations. It has been suggested that too few researchers recognise that tourism as a field of study is still in the formative stages, and that if theory is to be developed then it is through exploratory research and "the careful use of qualitative methods" (Hobson, 2003, p. 76). Hobson (2003) poses possible reasons for this lack of recognition being a tendency towards theory testing rather than theory development, with concepts and developed hypotheses grounded in other disciplines being imported and then sought to fit into the tourism context. There are many aspects of human behaviour, and complex relationships, that quantitative research cannot measure, and that unlike this research with its clearly laid-out research plan, qualitative research often evolves as the research progresses (Hobson, 2003). However, this evolution must be facilitated by established qualitative criteria in a research design or framework that effectively illustrates the qualitative research process, such as those provided by Maykut and Morehouse (1994, in Hobson, 2003).

Item ID: 4367
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: cruise; interpretation; maritime; nature-based; qualitative; sustainable; tourism
ISBN: 978-1-84469-012-1
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2009 03:45
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150603 Tourism Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900303 Tourism Infrastructure Development @ 100%
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