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Travel by students, including trips taken for extended periods to pursue degrees and other formal educational opportunities, may account for as much as one fifth of all international and domestic ``tourist-days,'' and a similar proportion of all tourism-related expenditures. Yet, even though the World Tourism Organization clearly identifies the pursuit of such opportunities as a legitimate form of tourism, and the sociocultural benefits of such tourism have been widely touted, academics have paid relatively little attention to this phenomenon. The lack of an intuitive association between tourism and formal education is one reason for this dearth of attention, as is the almost universal neglect paid to the formal educational component of student travel by national, provincial, and municipal tourism organizations and by the tourism industry more generally. Fortunately, this situation is slowly beginning to change. In recent years, the Australian NTO, for example, has included education fees as a separate tourist expenditure category, thereby exposing this hitherto hidden component of tourism-related revenue. Recent specialized academic books on the subjects, such as Ritchie (2003), have served a similar publicity role by disseminating theoretical and empirical information on the perceptions, behavior, and impacts of student-tourists.
George Mason University, Manassas, VA, USA
Publication date: January 1, 2004
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Tourism Review International is a peer-reviewed journal that advances excellence in all fields of tourism research, promotes high-level tourism knowledge, and nourishes cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism management and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changing tourism patterns and trends at the local, regional and global scale.