Critical Essays in Tourism Research


Maximiliano E. Korstanje – University of Palermo, Palermo, Argentina

Series: Hospitality, Tourism and Marketing Studies
BISAC: BUS081000

Critical Essays in Tourism Research results from an inner and deep reflection revolving around the future of tourism in the years to come as well as the epistemological limitations experienced by the discipline today. As some voices agreed, tourism research is facing one of the worst crises in its history. Although, over the years, theorists applauded over production as one of the signs of maturation for the discipline; for more than fourteen years, tourism has not been consolidated as an established alternative.

The fragmentation or dispersion of produced knowledge adjoins to the monopoly of an economic-based paradigm which centers on management and the profits of the industry. In this book, the authors will show that tourism is something more than a mere service industry or naïve activity. They will lay the foundations down for a new conceptualization of tourism. We hold the thesis that tourism is the cornerstone of Western civilization, as a rite of passage that revitalizes all daily frustrations keeping – in this way — society united. Chapters which are organized in this book deal with different aspects or topics that touch on tourism as the main object of study, but all of them unveil the stereotypes, prejudices and biased diagnoses of the profit-centered theories.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. The Transdisciplinary Nature of Tourism
(Maximiliano E Korstanje, University of Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Chapter 2. The Dark Side of Creative Tourism: A Philosophical Dialogue with Culture
(Maximiliano E Korstanje, Babu George, and Maite Echarri Chavez, University of Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and others)

Chapter 3. Drinking Alcohol as a Host-Guest Mediator in the Rite of Hospitality
(H. Seraphin and M. E. Korstanje, University of Winchester, Winchester, UK, and others)

Chapter 4. Assessing the Tourism Performance of a Destination: Toward a New Approach Using Cuba as a Case Study
(Hugues Séraphin, Vanessa Gowreesunkar, Mary Ann Dávila Rodríguez and Nevya Dávila Pagán, Programme Leader Event Management, Department of Applied Management Studies, The University of Winchester, England, and others)

Chapter 5. Modernity and Tourism
(Francisco Muñoz de Escalona, Retired CSIC Head Scientist, Madrid, Spain)

Chapter 6. A Critical Debate on the Concept of Ecological Tourism: The Russian Experience
(Oleg Afanasiev, PhD, Alexandra Afanasieva, Hugues Seraphin, and Vanessa G. Gowreesunkar, Russian State University of Tourism and Service, Moscow, Russia, and others)

Chapter 7. Go Ape with (Sustainable) Style: Neoliberalizing Exurban Leisure in Leeds, UK
(Rodanthi Tzanelli, University of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, UK)

Chapter 8. The Indiscipline of Tourism Research in the 21st Century: Is China Part of the Problem or the Solution?
(Maximiliano E. Korstanje, Department of Economics, University of Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Chapter 9. Cross-Cultural Competence as a Basis of the Competitive Advantage of the United States in Medical Tourism
(Babu George and Tony L. Henthorne, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, USA, and others)



Critical Essays in Tourism Research offers a thoughtful and critical read that confronts the complacency evident across so much tourism research and the traditional, primarily Western (English-speaking), view of the marketing, management and economics of tourism. Tourism is clearly much bigger and more impactful than just an industry with this edited collection reminding us of the anthropological routes of tourism and for prompting the need to re-read many of the original classics that seem to have been forgotten in the intervening decades. A most useful and timely contribution to the future scholarly and theoretical development of tourism and its multiple faces.
– Dr. Alan Fyall, Orange County Endowed Professor of Tourism Marketing, University of Central Florida

“In this book, the contributors raise some fundamental questions about the nature of tourism knowledge that are rarely asked but always assumed. Our mainstream knowledge of tourism is a bundle of generally held beliefs and these need to be deconstructed to see the deeper undercurrents making up the tourism system. One particular epistemological question that always baffled me is the validity of responses about touristic motivation and behavior that we gather from people who are not in their touristic state of mind when the survey is conducted. The contributors to this volume have shown the boldness to un-assume beliefs and opinions to propose a critical theory of tourism. This book will offer a great reading experience for the scholarly practitioners in tourism and associated areas.” –  Babu George, Fort Hays State University, USA

“Critical Essays in Tourism Research offers an opportunity to revisit furtherly some of the conceptual foundations and discourses, which are taken for granted in tourism fields. Its main value lies in the incorporation of critical perspectives to the global discussions and current understanding of tourism.” –  Juan Carlos Monterrubio Cordero, Autonomous University of the State of Mexico

“Over the years tourism scholars who base their innovative insights on the social sciences stand in opposition to those who exclusively rely on management and marketing as their status quo position. Maximiliano Korstanje represents the former camp by challenging the latter. In this edited book he brings together writers who share his anti-establishment views which thereby allow the multidisciplinary understanding of tourism to progress. Interestingly, some of these contributors do not have English as their first language.” –  Graham Dann, Professor Emeritus, Artic University of Norway, Norway

Keywords: Tourism, Methodology, Epistemology, Research, Knowledge Fragmentation, Critical Essays, Profit-Oriented Paradigm.

Audience: Professional researchers and students in tourism and hospitality.

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