Cultivating conscientious tourism caretakers: aphenomenographic continuum towards stronger sustainability

Article


Cotterell, Debbie, Ferreira, Jo-Anne, Hales, Rob and Arcordia, Charles. 2020. "Cultivating conscientious tourism caretakers: aphenomenographic continuum towards stronger sustainability." Current Issues in Tourism. 23 (8), pp. 1004-1020. https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2019.1577369
Article Title

Cultivating conscientious tourism caretakers: aphenomenographic continuum towards stronger sustainability

ERA Journal ID19656
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCotterell, Debbie (Author), Ferreira, Jo-Anne (Author), Hales, Rob (Author) and Arcordia, Charles (Author)
Journal TitleCurrent Issues in Tourism
Journal Citation23 (8), pp. 1004-1020
Number of Pages17
Year2020
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1368-3500
1747-7603
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2019.1577369
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13683500.2019.1577369
Abstract

Despite attempts to improve the ‘tourism curriculum space’ in order to empower philosophic practitioners who are capable of thinking systemically and holistically about complex phenomenon such as sustainability, tourism curricula is still designed around less complex and weak conceptualizations of sustainability. The aim of this study is to uncover the range of qualitatively different ways of experiencing sustainability in a tourism context with the intent of forming a continuum that could serve as a useful teaching and learning strategy in developing more complex and ‘stronger’ conceptualizations of sustainability.

Phenomenographic interviews with lecturers, students and industry workers revealed four qualitatively different ways of experiencing sustainability ranging from weak to very strong understandings of sustainability. The key outcome of this study is a practical continuum designed to (1) promote reflection within tourism educators on the conceptualizations underpinning their course design; as well as provide (2) a powerful teaching and learning tool designed to help higher education practitioners engage students with a broader and more varied range of understandings about the complex phenomenon that is sustainability. By introducing variation theory as an additional conceptual framework for explaining individuals’ understandings of sustainability, this study makes a theoretical contribution to the field of tourism studies.

KeywordsStrong sustainability; phenomenography; tourism education; variation theory
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390499. Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsGriffith University
Southern Cross University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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