Edited by Dieter K. Müller
Chapter 5: For a scientific and critical approach to tourism in geography
Theoretical and methodological issues are, of course, fundamental to the production of scientific knowledge. At the same time, herein lies one of the most important weaknesses of the geographical approach to tourism over time. The significant theoretical and methodological weaknesses in the results of researches on tourism are most visible in the international tourism geographic literature. They are also revealed in the international forum, which is dominated by papers restricted to the statement of facts, data, and processes without any theoretical support and non-critical proposals for tourism planning. Overcoming merely descriptive and superficial analyses coupled with the production of in-depth studies, disciplinary and interdisciplinary, is a sine qua non for better understanding contemporary tourism and, therefore, there is not a single theoretical or methodological approach to be embraced, but a plurality of theories and methods at our disposal.However, building bridges to support the ongoing dialogue within geography and between geography and other areas of scientific knowledge remains a challenge to be overcome.The interdisciplinary studies on tourism depend on a bottom-up movement, that is,one based on private initiatives or small groups, which must be able to generate centrifugal movements, disseminating practices and encouraging new initiatives.
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