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Chapter 1 Theory, Concepts and Models

DOI: 10.23912/9781911635352-4615

ISBN: 9781911635352

Published: December 2020

Component type: chapter

Published in: Tourism Theories, Concepts and Models

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911635352-4280



Recently, a number of academics have begun to think about theory in tourism in much more detail. As a relatively young field, there have been many complaints that tourism lacks distinct theory that has held back its development. However, Stergiou and Airey (2018:165) note tourism theory does not exist independently of reality; rather it has pragmatic relevance, facilitating researchers and others to make sense of and explain the so-called real world in the form of data or other phenomena. We as academics seem focussed on producing theory and developing new ideas as ‘theory’. Yet, most of us know very little about what theory is and what constitutes good theory. A key challenge, and one that must be addressed right from the outset, is the meaning of theory, in general terms and specifically how it applies to tourism. ‘Theory’ is one of most misused terms today, for it is often construed as an expression of an unproven and often unprovable opinion. In reality, fact and theory go hand in hand for each is necessary for the other to be true (Cooper and Schindler. 2014).

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McKercher & Prideaux, 2020

McKercher, B. & Prideaux, B. (2020) "Chapter 1 Theory, Concepts and Models" In: McKercher, B. & Prideaux, B. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911635352-4615


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