Reflecting on tourism research: lessons from the research practice interface

Moscardo, Gianna (2006) Reflecting on tourism research: lessons from the research practice interface. In: Papers from Cutting Edge Research in Tourism: new directions, challenges and applications. pp. 1-15. From: Cutting Edge Research in Tourism: new directions, challenges and applications, 6-9 June 2006, Guildford, UK.

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One of the challenges faced by many international tourists is that of communicating and establishing relationships in another cultural context. When successful cross-cultural interaction can be a very rewarding experience, when unsuccessful it can be the source of many tales of travel horror. If we extend this travel analogy to the area of tourism research we can propose that the academic and industry sectors in tourism are two distinct cultures and we can argue that for many academic researchers who venture into the world of practice, and vice versa, there are substantial cross cultural challenges to be overcome. This paper hopes to contribute to our understanding of the nature of applied tourism research and its effective application by reporting on a number of lessons learnt from a specific case of working on the tourism research practice interface. The author has been involved for ten years as a project leader for applied tourism research in two joint industry and government funded research centres. This experience of managing the interaction between tourism industry staff, government management agencies and academic researchers has generated a substantial archival dataset consisting of research agendas, meeting minutes, research proposed by various groups and research actually conducted. From this dataset, as well as from a review of the broader literature reflecting on research as a political and social process, this paper will explore various dimensions of the interaction between academic researchers and practitioners in tourism. These dimensions included differences in perceptions of core concepts, differences in the research agendas and problems with the communication and use of research results. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for academic researchers seeking to work in applied tourism research and for researchers who believe that it is valuable in every area of research to critically reflect on the nature of the research process itself.

Item ID: 4369
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 1-84469-012-1
Keywords: applied research; research practice interface; tourism
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2009 23:29
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150603 Tourism Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900399 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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