Understanding Cambodian Tourism Development Through Contextual Education
Abstract:Within a field that has prioritized ideas of a global tourism industry impacting on a local environment, less attention has been given to regional, cultural, and geographic differences and parallels. A problematic concern in the study of tourism was perhaps the lack of contextualization and the integration of the units of analysis (e.g., tourist destinations) to the larger regional structures and societal processes. We wish to take up the challenge to further disturb the foundations of the field and, more importantly, to participate in the advancement of a more pluralist discourse. A central component in this article is a 5-day study visit in Siem reap, Cambodia as part of an Asia-based fieldwork of bachelor students in tourism development at NHTV University of Applied Sciences in Breda, the netherlands. this study visit serves as an illustration of the contextual education approach developed in the tourism course and facilitated by the international classroom setting. this fieldwork's philosophy and the inspirational encounters made possible by it is an attempt to address the challenges posed by the study of the dynamism and changing character of destinations. to conclude we will bring forward selected student experiences as well as dimensions of Cambodian history and society that have enriched our understanding of Siem reap as a destination. this experience will fuel a discussion on knowledge production in tourism and on the added value of this contextual education approach. the repeated opportunity for our students to meet, think, and reflect on what they were confronted with created a possibility to uncover more than would have been possible via standard research methods using surveys and interviews.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2011
More about this publication?
- Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.