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Knowledge Production in Tourism: The Evaluation of Contextual Learning Processes in Destination Studies

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In this review article, the reviewers argue that the field of Tourism Management/Tourism Studies requires a more decided contextual approach in order to handle the growing complexity of "knowledge production" in international research and education needs in and around tourism development. Portegies, de Haan, and Platenkamp maintain that—in a network society where different types of society interfere with one another—complex contextual learning processes take place that are not taken into account seriously enough within the education and research milieux of the field. At NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences (in the Netherlands), a curriculum for higher education has emerged through the years that attempts (mainly in Southeast Asia) to incorporate these sorts of learning processes in various cross-cultural environments. Over the years, there, an originally "more instrumental approach" to destination analysis has changed into a contextual one in which participants have become much more sensitive in their capacity to receive and understand the perspectives of found stakeholders at particular international tourism destinations. This contextual approach is now evaluated (within this review article) in comparison to the aforesaid previously dominant instrumental approach to the production of knowledge about destinations. It does so by addressing to the important distinction between mode 1 and 2 knowledge production (after Gibbons et al.) and by adding assessments built around a mode 3 type of knowledge production (following Kunneman), which relates to normative and existential awarenesses. Readers of Tourism Analysis are invited to comment on the observations of Portegies, de Haan, and Platenkamp, in terms of the fit of contextual learning processes in other parts of the world or otherwise with regard to the relevance of mode 1/2/3 sorts of knowledge production to Tourism Management/Tourism Studies. Short critiques of 1,000 words (maximum) on either of these subjects should be sent to the Review Editor of Tourism Analysis at


Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: 2009-12-01

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  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.
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