Qualitative research, tourism

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/konference proceedingEncyclopædiartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

Qualitative research, tourism

Qualitative research refers to research applying a range of qualitative methods in order to inductively explore, interpret, and understand a given field or object under study. Qualitative research in tourism takes its inspiration primarily from the cultural and social sciences, such as anthropology and sociology. Most often, the aim of this research approach is to explore and search for meaning or to develop an understanding through empirical studies, generating “thick” descriptions (Geertz 1973) or collecting material, which may become subject to interpretation. Qualitative research seeks to avoid making generalizations, grand claims, and reductions and is often characterized by a high level of reflectivity and sensitivity to power relations and ambiguity. All of these characteristics will be elaborated further below.
The concept of qualitative research covers a range of methodologies, but is usually contrasted with and seen in opposition to quantitative and deductive research, as it attempts to explore the complexity and fragmentary nature of the social world of tourism. This exploration can be carried out through ethnographic fieldwork and/or by applying various methods, which seek to deploy more inductive and explorative approaches. Such methods include interviews, participant or non-participatory observations, focus groups, text and discourse analysis, photo and video documentation or elicitation, semiotic studies, autoethnography, and virtual ethnography (nethnography). More recently, attempts have been made to explore relations between the performing arts and social science, e.g. through innovative methods such as poetry and virtual curating.

Ontology, epistemology and methodology
As a multidisciplinary field, tourism research has incorporated a broad variety of discipline-based methodologies to studying tourism as an economic and sociocultural phenomenon. The question of what methods to apply when conducting research has long been a contested issue within tourism research. This is explained by how the choice of methods is not only a question of “selecting the tools” to carry out research but is also intrinsically linked to ontological, epistemological, and political/philosophical issues of what to study, how to study it, and for towards what aims. This demonstrates how the phenomenon of tourism, the methods of research, and the analytical engagement into its unfolding richness cannot be compartmentalized, but should be grasped in conjunction.
Qualitative tourism research does not constitute one singular body of research. Nor is it in any way “epistemologically aligned”. Rather, it covers many theoretical and philosophical positions, such as hermeneutics, phenomenology, post-structuralism, and social constructivism. Many different research strategies are deployed, but a unifying trait is the wish to accommodate for non-quantifiable or non-cumulative ways of enquiring into, understanding, and representing tourism. Hence, qualitative tourism research urges one to engage holistically as well as reflexively with tourism and with tourism research.
Qualitative tourism research not only refers to (qualitative) methods, but also denotes a larger movement which challenges the previously dominating role of quantitative methods within the study of tourism. This movement is reflected in the emergence of New tourism Research (Tribe 2005) and Critical Tourism Studies (Ateljevic, Pritchard and Morgan 2007), which challenge functionalist and business centered approaches to studying tourism. What characterizes these approaches are their attempt to raise attention to tourism as a cultural and socio-material phenomenon as opposed to merely an industry or an area of study confined to business economic and management. Instead of seeking immediate results or closure, it also attends to tourism realities (and research) as sensibilities, as ways to relate to and create the world, and as context specific processes of living and knowing. Both methodologically and analytically, critical tourism research centers on themes such as power, identity, Othering, performativity, and embodiment, as well as gender, race, and other inequality related issues.
The application of qualitative research has meant a need to question and redefine criteria and research standards otherwise used in tourism research, as qualitative approach does not (seek to) conform to ideals such as truth, objectivity, and validity retrieved in the positivist sciences. In order to develop new ways by which to distinguish and evaluate good qualitative research, Jamal and Hollingshead (2001) suggested transparency, reflexivity, and dialogue as essential when engaging in qualitative research. Hence, the development and strengthening of qualitative research has challenged tourism research as a positivist or strictly business directed science. It offers not only new methods and tools to engage with the field of research, but also other standards by which to articulate and grasp it. This has also led to a new understanding of the performative capacities of methods and of how researching tourism is also a way of creating it in certain ways rather than others.

Qualitative research in tourism
Whether to apply quantitative or qualitative methods has been the object of intense discussion and has often been accompanied with a dichotomous view of the field of tourism research as divided into a business-driven (quantitative) and socially-oriented (qualitative) fraction. Its abstaining from reductionist representations and explanations has meant that until the late 1990s, qualitative research occupied a marginal position in tourism journal publications and doctoral thesis writings (Riley and Love 2000). Up until recently, the understanding of qualitative research as unable (or rather unwilling) to deliver the types of outcome which “explain and predict” tourism, has impacted upon its ability to gain general acceptance.
Only slowly has tourism research made room for the changes in social and cultural sciences, which since the 1960s had opened up to new “alternative” paradigms and subsequent methodologies. By the turn of the millennium, qualitative research was increasingly gaining ground and has now become accepted as an essential and valid tourism research strategy to a broader audience of tourism scholars. This is exemplified by Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies by Phillimore and Goodman (2005), the first book on qualitative tourism research methods to be published as a paperback. Also, it is reflected in the foundation of journals based on qualitative research such as Tourist Studies (2001) and a drastic rise in qualitative research based publications in prominent journals such as Annals of Tourism Research and, to a lesser degree, Tourism Management.

Tourism as a heterogeneous field
Since the turn of the century, the research community is progressively coming to terms with the contributions of qualitative research in generating knowledge in and about tourism. In continuation to this, new issues and interests regarding the application and role of qualitative research can also be identified. One is a growing appreciation in business and management of the rich material and knowledge generated by qualitative research, for instance, through ethnography. As cultural insights are increasingly being perceived as “useful” in developing and managing tourism, “applied”, corporate, or business ethnography is on the rise. This trend raises new and critical questions on the changing impacts and power relations of qualitative research and knowledge production.
Another issue related to the status and practice of qualitative tourism research is the emerging critique of the dichotomous perception of tourism research as either strictly instrumental or purely intrinsic. This understanding of research as divided into two incommensurable “camps” is gradually being replaced by a view of investigation as a highly complex network composed of heterogeneous and partially coherent practices. As an alternative of seeing the research in this field as bisected, one could also describe it, as done in Ren, Pritchard and Morgan (2010) as an intermingle of social and business research, teaching, funding, publishing, as well as other practical and “applied” activities all of which engage with and construct tourism research as a field of practice.

The future for qualitative tourism research
As divided fractions in tourism and research reconcile, the application of qualitative and quantitative methods may also become less contested, potentially leading the way to new ways of engaging with and creatively conjoining qualitative and quantitative methods and methodologies in years to come. For instance, the huge amounts of big data currently being generated online represent a challenge – as well as an opportunity, for qualitative research. An example of this is to be found in Jóhannesson, Ren, van der Duim and Munk (2014), in which digital methods are introduced as a way to mapping controversies. It is argued that the ongoing devising and use of numeric visualization tools to explore issues online affords new lines of inquiry which cut across the conventional quantitative/qualitative divide, spurring new questions about tourism and its relational ontologies.
A different, but undoubtedly related direction which qualitative tourism research is taking is linked to the ever more widespread attention to complexity, multiplicity, and intangible issues drawing, for instance, on insights from cultural and Gender studies, as well as Science and Technology Studies (STS). Already in 2001, in the first editorial of Tourist Studies, Franklin and Crang called upon new tools with which to study tourism not only as an industry and business, but also as a mundane, embodied, enacted, and localized practice. Since then, a focus on mobility, affect, emotions, materiality, everyday life, and performativity has increased immensely and shown how cultural or social issues are not exogenous, but rather intrinsically linked to – or even co-created in, tourism. Such movements have necessitated and spurred new methods of inquiring into the highly heterogeneous and relational, glocally situated, and fleeting practices of tourism.
In 2000, Riley and Love did not hold high hopes for the state and future development of qualitative research in tourism. Today, however, qualitative research is continuously expanding its tool box thanks to mobile, autoethnographic, visual, digital, and sensory methods. Material semiotics and non-representational approaches to the field urge the critical inspection not of how data is “extracted”, but rather how research material is composed and represented. The understanding of how research impacts and intervenes into our fields of investigation raises the awareness of how research and knowledge creation is always a matter of doing ontological politics (Mol 1999), that is of performing particular versions of reality while othering others. Hence, we not only study different realities, but also have the ability to choose between them.
The field of tourism is witnessing an interest in the research community in tailoring qualitative methods (in combination with quantitative methods) to better accommodate and connect to the complexity and multiplicity of tourism. Hence, the field of qualitative tourism research is currently witnessing a fruitful and dynamic stage of methodological innovation. The current refinement of qualitative research methods and the more systematic reflections on how their impacts shape and perform the industry and global society at large hold promise for the further development of tourism-based methods and their future integration into a larger body of social and cultural research.

See also: Epistemology; methodology, multidisciplinarity, paradigm, ethnography.

References
Ateljevic, I., A. Pritchard, and N. Morgan, eds.
2007 The Critical Turn in Tourism Studies: Innovative Research Methodologies. London: Elsevier.
Franklin, A., and M. Crang
2001 The Trouble with Tourism and Travel Theory? Tourist Studies 1:5-22.
Geertz, C.
1973 The Interpretation of Cultures. Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books.
Jamal, T., and K. Hollinshead
2001 Tourism and the Forbidden Zone: The Underserved Power of Qualitative Inquiry. Tourism Management 22:63-82.
Jóhannesson, G.T., C. Ren, R. van der Duim, and A. Munk
2014 Actor-Network Theory and Tourism Research: Approaches, Implications and Future Opportunities. In Tourism Methodologies: New Perspectives, Practices and Procedures, J. Meged, B. Blichfeldt, K. Hvass and L. Hansen, eds., 119-137. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press.
Mol, A.
1999 Ontological politics. A word and some questions. The Sociological Review 47:74-89.
Phillimore, J., and L. Goodman, eds.
2004 Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies. London: Routledge.
Ren, C., A. Pritchard, and N. Morgan
2010 Constructing Tourism Research: A Critical Approach. Annals of Tourism Research 37:885–904.
Riley, R., and L. Love
2000 The State of Qualitative Tourism Research. Annals of Tourism Research 27:164-187
Tribe, J. (2005)
New Tourism research. Tourism Recreation Research 30: 5-8

Carina Ren
Aalborg University, Denmark
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TitelEncyclopedia of Tourism
RedaktørerJ. Jafari, H. Xiao
ForlagSpringer Publishing Company
Publikationsdato2016
Sider1-4
ISBN (Trykt)ISBN 978-3-319-01383-1
StatusUdgivet - 2016

Fingerprint

qualitative research
Tourism
qualitative method
methodology
quantitative method
epistemology
ontology
ethnography

Citer dette

Ren, C. B. (2016). Qualitative research, tourism. I J. Jafari, & H. Xiao (red.), Encyclopedia of Tourism (s. 1-4). Springer Publishing Company.
Ren, Carina Bregnholm. / Qualitative research, tourism. Encyclopedia of Tourism. red. / J. Jafari ; H. Xiao. Springer Publishing Company, 2016. s. 1-4
@inbook{814002f703464b888443d44a83dccbdc,
title = "Qualitative research, tourism",
abstract = "Qualitative research, tourismQualitative research refers to research applying a range of qualitative methods in order to inductively explore, interpret, and understand a given field or object under study. Qualitative research in tourism takes its inspiration primarily from the cultural and social sciences, such as anthropology and sociology. Most often, the aim of this research approach is to explore and search for meaning or to develop an understanding through empirical studies, generating “thick” descriptions (Geertz 1973) or collecting material, which may become subject to interpretation. Qualitative research seeks to avoid making generalizations, grand claims, and reductions and is often characterized by a high level of reflectivity and sensitivity to power relations and ambiguity. All of these characteristics will be elaborated further below.The concept of qualitative research covers a range of methodologies, but is usually contrasted with and seen in opposition to quantitative and deductive research, as it attempts to explore the complexity and fragmentary nature of the social world of tourism. This exploration can be carried out through ethnographic fieldwork and/or by applying various methods, which seek to deploy more inductive and explorative approaches. Such methods include interviews, participant or non-participatory observations, focus groups, text and discourse analysis, photo and video documentation or elicitation, semiotic studies, autoethnography, and virtual ethnography (nethnography). More recently, attempts have been made to explore relations between the performing arts and social science, e.g. through innovative methods such as poetry and virtual curating.Ontology, epistemology and methodology As a multidisciplinary field, tourism research has incorporated a broad variety of discipline-based methodologies to studying tourism as an economic and sociocultural phenomenon. The question of what methods to apply when conducting research has long been a contested issue within tourism research. This is explained by how the choice of methods is not only a question of “selecting the tools” to carry out research but is also intrinsically linked to ontological, epistemological, and political/philosophical issues of what to study, how to study it, and for towards what aims. This demonstrates how the phenomenon of tourism, the methods of research, and the analytical engagement into its unfolding richness cannot be compartmentalized, but should be grasped in conjunction. Qualitative tourism research does not constitute one singular body of research. Nor is it in any way “epistemologically aligned”. Rather, it covers many theoretical and philosophical positions, such as hermeneutics, phenomenology, post-structuralism, and social constructivism. Many different research strategies are deployed, but a unifying trait is the wish to accommodate for non-quantifiable or non-cumulative ways of enquiring into, understanding, and representing tourism. Hence, qualitative tourism research urges one to engage holistically as well as reflexively with tourism and with tourism research.Qualitative tourism research not only refers to (qualitative) methods, but also denotes a larger movement which challenges the previously dominating role of quantitative methods within the study of tourism. This movement is reflected in the emergence of New tourism Research (Tribe 2005) and Critical Tourism Studies (Ateljevic, Pritchard and Morgan 2007), which challenge functionalist and business centered approaches to studying tourism. What characterizes these approaches are their attempt to raise attention to tourism as a cultural and socio-material phenomenon as opposed to merely an industry or an area of study confined to business economic and management. Instead of seeking immediate results or closure, it also attends to tourism realities (and research) as sensibilities, as ways to relate to and create the world, and as context specific processes of living and knowing. Both methodologically and analytically, critical tourism research centers on themes such as power, identity, Othering, performativity, and embodiment, as well as gender, race, and other inequality related issues. The application of qualitative research has meant a need to question and redefine criteria and research standards otherwise used in tourism research, as qualitative approach does not (seek to) conform to ideals such as truth, objectivity, and validity retrieved in the positivist sciences. In order to develop new ways by which to distinguish and evaluate good qualitative research, Jamal and Hollingshead (2001) suggested transparency, reflexivity, and dialogue as essential when engaging in qualitative research. Hence, the development and strengthening of qualitative research has challenged tourism research as a positivist or strictly business directed science. It offers not only new methods and tools to engage with the field of research, but also other standards by which to articulate and grasp it. This has also led to a new understanding of the performative capacities of methods and of how researching tourism is also a way of creating it in certain ways rather than others. Qualitative research in tourism Whether to apply quantitative or qualitative methods has been the object of intense discussion and has often been accompanied with a dichotomous view of the field of tourism research as divided into a business-driven (quantitative) and socially-oriented (qualitative) fraction. Its abstaining from reductionist representations and explanations has meant that until the late 1990s, qualitative research occupied a marginal position in tourism journal publications and doctoral thesis writings (Riley and Love 2000). Up until recently, the understanding of qualitative research as unable (or rather unwilling) to deliver the types of outcome which “explain and predict” tourism, has impacted upon its ability to gain general acceptance. Only slowly has tourism research made room for the changes in social and cultural sciences, which since the 1960s had opened up to new “alternative” paradigms and subsequent methodologies. By the turn of the millennium, qualitative research was increasingly gaining ground and has now become accepted as an essential and valid tourism research strategy to a broader audience of tourism scholars. This is exemplified by Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies by Phillimore and Goodman (2005), the first book on qualitative tourism research methods to be published as a paperback. Also, it is reflected in the foundation of journals based on qualitative research such as Tourist Studies (2001) and a drastic rise in qualitative research based publications in prominent journals such as Annals of Tourism Research and, to a lesser degree, Tourism Management. Tourism as a heterogeneous field Since the turn of the century, the research community is progressively coming to terms with the contributions of qualitative research in generating knowledge in and about tourism. In continuation to this, new issues and interests regarding the application and role of qualitative research can also be identified. One is a growing appreciation in business and management of the rich material and knowledge generated by qualitative research, for instance, through ethnography. As cultural insights are increasingly being perceived as “useful” in developing and managing tourism, “applied”, corporate, or business ethnography is on the rise. This trend raises new and critical questions on the changing impacts and power relations of qualitative research and knowledge production. Another issue related to the status and practice of qualitative tourism research is the emerging critique of the dichotomous perception of tourism research as either strictly instrumental or purely intrinsic. This understanding of research as divided into two incommensurable “camps” is gradually being replaced by a view of investigation as a highly complex network composed of heterogeneous and partially coherent practices. As an alternative of seeing the research in this field as bisected, one could also describe it, as done in Ren, Pritchard and Morgan (2010) as an intermingle of social and business research, teaching, funding, publishing, as well as other practical and “applied” activities all of which engage with and construct tourism research as a field of practice. The future for qualitative tourism researchAs divided fractions in tourism and research reconcile, the application of qualitative and quantitative methods may also become less contested, potentially leading the way to new ways of engaging with and creatively conjoining qualitative and quantitative methods and methodologies in years to come. For instance, the huge amounts of big data currently being generated online represent a challenge – as well as an opportunity, for qualitative research. An example of this is to be found in J{\'o}hannesson, Ren, van der Duim and Munk (2014), in which digital methods are introduced as a way to mapping controversies. It is argued that the ongoing devising and use of numeric visualization tools to explore issues online affords new lines of inquiry which cut across the conventional quantitative/qualitative divide, spurring new questions about tourism and its relational ontologies. A different, but undoubtedly related direction which qualitative tourism research is taking is linked to the ever more widespread attention to complexity, multiplicity, and intangible issues drawing, for instance, on insights from cultural and Gender studies, as well as Science and Technology Studies (STS). Already in 2001, in the first editorial of Tourist Studies, Franklin and Crang called upon new tools with which to study tourism not only as an industry and business, but also as a mundane, embodied, enacted, and localized practice. Since then, a focus on mobility, affect, emotions, materiality, everyday life, and performativity has increased immensely and shown how cultural or social issues are not exogenous, but rather intrinsically linked to – or even co-created in, tourism. Such movements have necessitated and spurred new methods of inquiring into the highly heterogeneous and relational, glocally situated, and fleeting practices of tourism. In 2000, Riley and Love did not hold high hopes for the state and future development of qualitative research in tourism. Today, however, qualitative research is continuously expanding its tool box thanks to mobile, autoethnographic, visual, digital, and sensory methods. Material semiotics and non-representational approaches to the field urge the critical inspection not of how data is “extracted”, but rather how research material is composed and represented. The understanding of how research impacts and intervenes into our fields of investigation raises the awareness of how research and knowledge creation is always a matter of doing ontological politics (Mol 1999), that is of performing particular versions of reality while othering others. Hence, we not only study different realities, but also have the ability to choose between them. The field of tourism is witnessing an interest in the research community in tailoring qualitative methods (in combination with quantitative methods) to better accommodate and connect to the complexity and multiplicity of tourism. Hence, the field of qualitative tourism research is currently witnessing a fruitful and dynamic stage of methodological innovation. The current refinement of qualitative research methods and the more systematic reflections on how their impacts shape and perform the industry and global society at large hold promise for the further development of tourism-based methods and their future integration into a larger body of social and cultural research. See also: Epistemology; methodology, multidisciplinarity, paradigm, ethnography.References Ateljevic, I., A. Pritchard, and N. Morgan, eds. 2007 The Critical Turn in Tourism Studies: Innovative Research Methodologies. London: Elsevier.Franklin, A., and M. Crang 2001 The Trouble with Tourism and Travel Theory? Tourist Studies 1:5-22.Geertz, C. 1973 The Interpretation of Cultures. Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books.Jamal, T., and K. Hollinshead 2001 Tourism and the Forbidden Zone: The Underserved Power of Qualitative Inquiry. Tourism Management 22:63-82.J{\'o}hannesson, G.T., C. Ren, R. van der Duim, and A. Munk2014 Actor-Network Theory and Tourism Research: Approaches, Implications and Future Opportunities. In Tourism Methodologies: New Perspectives, Practices and Procedures, J. Meged, B. Blichfeldt, K. Hvass and L. Hansen, eds., 119-137. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press.Mol, A. 1999 Ontological politics. A word and some questions. The Sociological Review 47:74-89.Phillimore, J., and L. Goodman, eds.2004 Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies. London: Routledge.Ren, C., A. Pritchard, and N. Morgan 2010 Constructing Tourism Research: A Critical Approach. Annals of Tourism Research 37:885–904.Riley, R., and L. Love 2000 The State of Qualitative Tourism Research. Annals of Tourism Research 27:164-187Tribe, J. (2005)New Tourism research. Tourism Recreation Research 30: 5-8Carina RenAalborg University, Denmark",
author = "Ren, {Carina Bregnholm}",
year = "2016",
language = "English",
isbn = "ISBN 978-3-319-01383-1",
pages = "1--4",
editor = "J. Jafari and H. Xiao",
booktitle = "Encyclopedia of Tourism",
publisher = "Springer Publishing Company",
address = "United States",

}

Ren, CB 2016, Qualitative research, tourism. i J Jafari & H Xiao (red), Encyclopedia of Tourism. Springer Publishing Company, s. 1-4.

Qualitative research, tourism. / Ren, Carina Bregnholm.

Encyclopedia of Tourism. red. / J. Jafari; H. Xiao. Springer Publishing Company, 2016. s. 1-4.

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/konference proceedingEncyclopædiartikelForskningpeer review

TY - ENCYC

T1 - Qualitative research, tourism

AU - Ren, Carina Bregnholm

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Qualitative research, tourismQualitative research refers to research applying a range of qualitative methods in order to inductively explore, interpret, and understand a given field or object under study. Qualitative research in tourism takes its inspiration primarily from the cultural and social sciences, such as anthropology and sociology. Most often, the aim of this research approach is to explore and search for meaning or to develop an understanding through empirical studies, generating “thick” descriptions (Geertz 1973) or collecting material, which may become subject to interpretation. Qualitative research seeks to avoid making generalizations, grand claims, and reductions and is often characterized by a high level of reflectivity and sensitivity to power relations and ambiguity. All of these characteristics will be elaborated further below.The concept of qualitative research covers a range of methodologies, but is usually contrasted with and seen in opposition to quantitative and deductive research, as it attempts to explore the complexity and fragmentary nature of the social world of tourism. This exploration can be carried out through ethnographic fieldwork and/or by applying various methods, which seek to deploy more inductive and explorative approaches. Such methods include interviews, participant or non-participatory observations, focus groups, text and discourse analysis, photo and video documentation or elicitation, semiotic studies, autoethnography, and virtual ethnography (nethnography). More recently, attempts have been made to explore relations between the performing arts and social science, e.g. through innovative methods such as poetry and virtual curating.Ontology, epistemology and methodology As a multidisciplinary field, tourism research has incorporated a broad variety of discipline-based methodologies to studying tourism as an economic and sociocultural phenomenon. The question of what methods to apply when conducting research has long been a contested issue within tourism research. This is explained by how the choice of methods is not only a question of “selecting the tools” to carry out research but is also intrinsically linked to ontological, epistemological, and political/philosophical issues of what to study, how to study it, and for towards what aims. This demonstrates how the phenomenon of tourism, the methods of research, and the analytical engagement into its unfolding richness cannot be compartmentalized, but should be grasped in conjunction. Qualitative tourism research does not constitute one singular body of research. Nor is it in any way “epistemologically aligned”. Rather, it covers many theoretical and philosophical positions, such as hermeneutics, phenomenology, post-structuralism, and social constructivism. Many different research strategies are deployed, but a unifying trait is the wish to accommodate for non-quantifiable or non-cumulative ways of enquiring into, understanding, and representing tourism. Hence, qualitative tourism research urges one to engage holistically as well as reflexively with tourism and with tourism research.Qualitative tourism research not only refers to (qualitative) methods, but also denotes a larger movement which challenges the previously dominating role of quantitative methods within the study of tourism. This movement is reflected in the emergence of New tourism Research (Tribe 2005) and Critical Tourism Studies (Ateljevic, Pritchard and Morgan 2007), which challenge functionalist and business centered approaches to studying tourism. What characterizes these approaches are their attempt to raise attention to tourism as a cultural and socio-material phenomenon as opposed to merely an industry or an area of study confined to business economic and management. Instead of seeking immediate results or closure, it also attends to tourism realities (and research) as sensibilities, as ways to relate to and create the world, and as context specific processes of living and knowing. Both methodologically and analytically, critical tourism research centers on themes such as power, identity, Othering, performativity, and embodiment, as well as gender, race, and other inequality related issues. The application of qualitative research has meant a need to question and redefine criteria and research standards otherwise used in tourism research, as qualitative approach does not (seek to) conform to ideals such as truth, objectivity, and validity retrieved in the positivist sciences. In order to develop new ways by which to distinguish and evaluate good qualitative research, Jamal and Hollingshead (2001) suggested transparency, reflexivity, and dialogue as essential when engaging in qualitative research. Hence, the development and strengthening of qualitative research has challenged tourism research as a positivist or strictly business directed science. It offers not only new methods and tools to engage with the field of research, but also other standards by which to articulate and grasp it. This has also led to a new understanding of the performative capacities of methods and of how researching tourism is also a way of creating it in certain ways rather than others. Qualitative research in tourism Whether to apply quantitative or qualitative methods has been the object of intense discussion and has often been accompanied with a dichotomous view of the field of tourism research as divided into a business-driven (quantitative) and socially-oriented (qualitative) fraction. Its abstaining from reductionist representations and explanations has meant that until the late 1990s, qualitative research occupied a marginal position in tourism journal publications and doctoral thesis writings (Riley and Love 2000). Up until recently, the understanding of qualitative research as unable (or rather unwilling) to deliver the types of outcome which “explain and predict” tourism, has impacted upon its ability to gain general acceptance. Only slowly has tourism research made room for the changes in social and cultural sciences, which since the 1960s had opened up to new “alternative” paradigms and subsequent methodologies. By the turn of the millennium, qualitative research was increasingly gaining ground and has now become accepted as an essential and valid tourism research strategy to a broader audience of tourism scholars. This is exemplified by Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies by Phillimore and Goodman (2005), the first book on qualitative tourism research methods to be published as a paperback. Also, it is reflected in the foundation of journals based on qualitative research such as Tourist Studies (2001) and a drastic rise in qualitative research based publications in prominent journals such as Annals of Tourism Research and, to a lesser degree, Tourism Management. Tourism as a heterogeneous field Since the turn of the century, the research community is progressively coming to terms with the contributions of qualitative research in generating knowledge in and about tourism. In continuation to this, new issues and interests regarding the application and role of qualitative research can also be identified. One is a growing appreciation in business and management of the rich material and knowledge generated by qualitative research, for instance, through ethnography. As cultural insights are increasingly being perceived as “useful” in developing and managing tourism, “applied”, corporate, or business ethnography is on the rise. This trend raises new and critical questions on the changing impacts and power relations of qualitative research and knowledge production. Another issue related to the status and practice of qualitative tourism research is the emerging critique of the dichotomous perception of tourism research as either strictly instrumental or purely intrinsic. This understanding of research as divided into two incommensurable “camps” is gradually being replaced by a view of investigation as a highly complex network composed of heterogeneous and partially coherent practices. As an alternative of seeing the research in this field as bisected, one could also describe it, as done in Ren, Pritchard and Morgan (2010) as an intermingle of social and business research, teaching, funding, publishing, as well as other practical and “applied” activities all of which engage with and construct tourism research as a field of practice. The future for qualitative tourism researchAs divided fractions in tourism and research reconcile, the application of qualitative and quantitative methods may also become less contested, potentially leading the way to new ways of engaging with and creatively conjoining qualitative and quantitative methods and methodologies in years to come. For instance, the huge amounts of big data currently being generated online represent a challenge – as well as an opportunity, for qualitative research. An example of this is to be found in Jóhannesson, Ren, van der Duim and Munk (2014), in which digital methods are introduced as a way to mapping controversies. It is argued that the ongoing devising and use of numeric visualization tools to explore issues online affords new lines of inquiry which cut across the conventional quantitative/qualitative divide, spurring new questions about tourism and its relational ontologies. A different, but undoubtedly related direction which qualitative tourism research is taking is linked to the ever more widespread attention to complexity, multiplicity, and intangible issues drawing, for instance, on insights from cultural and Gender studies, as well as Science and Technology Studies (STS). Already in 2001, in the first editorial of Tourist Studies, Franklin and Crang called upon new tools with which to study tourism not only as an industry and business, but also as a mundane, embodied, enacted, and localized practice. Since then, a focus on mobility, affect, emotions, materiality, everyday life, and performativity has increased immensely and shown how cultural or social issues are not exogenous, but rather intrinsically linked to – or even co-created in, tourism. Such movements have necessitated and spurred new methods of inquiring into the highly heterogeneous and relational, glocally situated, and fleeting practices of tourism. In 2000, Riley and Love did not hold high hopes for the state and future development of qualitative research in tourism. Today, however, qualitative research is continuously expanding its tool box thanks to mobile, autoethnographic, visual, digital, and sensory methods. Material semiotics and non-representational approaches to the field urge the critical inspection not of how data is “extracted”, but rather how research material is composed and represented. The understanding of how research impacts and intervenes into our fields of investigation raises the awareness of how research and knowledge creation is always a matter of doing ontological politics (Mol 1999), that is of performing particular versions of reality while othering others. Hence, we not only study different realities, but also have the ability to choose between them. The field of tourism is witnessing an interest in the research community in tailoring qualitative methods (in combination with quantitative methods) to better accommodate and connect to the complexity and multiplicity of tourism. Hence, the field of qualitative tourism research is currently witnessing a fruitful and dynamic stage of methodological innovation. The current refinement of qualitative research methods and the more systematic reflections on how their impacts shape and perform the industry and global society at large hold promise for the further development of tourism-based methods and their future integration into a larger body of social and cultural research. See also: Epistemology; methodology, multidisciplinarity, paradigm, ethnography.References Ateljevic, I., A. Pritchard, and N. Morgan, eds. 2007 The Critical Turn in Tourism Studies: Innovative Research Methodologies. London: Elsevier.Franklin, A., and M. Crang 2001 The Trouble with Tourism and Travel Theory? Tourist Studies 1:5-22.Geertz, C. 1973 The Interpretation of Cultures. Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books.Jamal, T., and K. Hollinshead 2001 Tourism and the Forbidden Zone: The Underserved Power of Qualitative Inquiry. Tourism Management 22:63-82.Jóhannesson, G.T., C. Ren, R. van der Duim, and A. Munk2014 Actor-Network Theory and Tourism Research: Approaches, Implications and Future Opportunities. In Tourism Methodologies: New Perspectives, Practices and Procedures, J. Meged, B. Blichfeldt, K. Hvass and L. Hansen, eds., 119-137. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press.Mol, A. 1999 Ontological politics. A word and some questions. The Sociological Review 47:74-89.Phillimore, J., and L. Goodman, eds.2004 Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies. London: Routledge.Ren, C., A. Pritchard, and N. Morgan 2010 Constructing Tourism Research: A Critical Approach. Annals of Tourism Research 37:885–904.Riley, R., and L. Love 2000 The State of Qualitative Tourism Research. Annals of Tourism Research 27:164-187Tribe, J. (2005)New Tourism research. Tourism Recreation Research 30: 5-8Carina RenAalborg University, Denmark

AB - Qualitative research, tourismQualitative research refers to research applying a range of qualitative methods in order to inductively explore, interpret, and understand a given field or object under study. Qualitative research in tourism takes its inspiration primarily from the cultural and social sciences, such as anthropology and sociology. Most often, the aim of this research approach is to explore and search for meaning or to develop an understanding through empirical studies, generating “thick” descriptions (Geertz 1973) or collecting material, which may become subject to interpretation. Qualitative research seeks to avoid making generalizations, grand claims, and reductions and is often characterized by a high level of reflectivity and sensitivity to power relations and ambiguity. All of these characteristics will be elaborated further below.The concept of qualitative research covers a range of methodologies, but is usually contrasted with and seen in opposition to quantitative and deductive research, as it attempts to explore the complexity and fragmentary nature of the social world of tourism. This exploration can be carried out through ethnographic fieldwork and/or by applying various methods, which seek to deploy more inductive and explorative approaches. Such methods include interviews, participant or non-participatory observations, focus groups, text and discourse analysis, photo and video documentation or elicitation, semiotic studies, autoethnography, and virtual ethnography (nethnography). More recently, attempts have been made to explore relations between the performing arts and social science, e.g. through innovative methods such as poetry and virtual curating.Ontology, epistemology and methodology As a multidisciplinary field, tourism research has incorporated a broad variety of discipline-based methodologies to studying tourism as an economic and sociocultural phenomenon. The question of what methods to apply when conducting research has long been a contested issue within tourism research. This is explained by how the choice of methods is not only a question of “selecting the tools” to carry out research but is also intrinsically linked to ontological, epistemological, and political/philosophical issues of what to study, how to study it, and for towards what aims. This demonstrates how the phenomenon of tourism, the methods of research, and the analytical engagement into its unfolding richness cannot be compartmentalized, but should be grasped in conjunction. Qualitative tourism research does not constitute one singular body of research. Nor is it in any way “epistemologically aligned”. Rather, it covers many theoretical and philosophical positions, such as hermeneutics, phenomenology, post-structuralism, and social constructivism. Many different research strategies are deployed, but a unifying trait is the wish to accommodate for non-quantifiable or non-cumulative ways of enquiring into, understanding, and representing tourism. Hence, qualitative tourism research urges one to engage holistically as well as reflexively with tourism and with tourism research.Qualitative tourism research not only refers to (qualitative) methods, but also denotes a larger movement which challenges the previously dominating role of quantitative methods within the study of tourism. This movement is reflected in the emergence of New tourism Research (Tribe 2005) and Critical Tourism Studies (Ateljevic, Pritchard and Morgan 2007), which challenge functionalist and business centered approaches to studying tourism. What characterizes these approaches are their attempt to raise attention to tourism as a cultural and socio-material phenomenon as opposed to merely an industry or an area of study confined to business economic and management. Instead of seeking immediate results or closure, it also attends to tourism realities (and research) as sensibilities, as ways to relate to and create the world, and as context specific processes of living and knowing. Both methodologically and analytically, critical tourism research centers on themes such as power, identity, Othering, performativity, and embodiment, as well as gender, race, and other inequality related issues. The application of qualitative research has meant a need to question and redefine criteria and research standards otherwise used in tourism research, as qualitative approach does not (seek to) conform to ideals such as truth, objectivity, and validity retrieved in the positivist sciences. In order to develop new ways by which to distinguish and evaluate good qualitative research, Jamal and Hollingshead (2001) suggested transparency, reflexivity, and dialogue as essential when engaging in qualitative research. Hence, the development and strengthening of qualitative research has challenged tourism research as a positivist or strictly business directed science. It offers not only new methods and tools to engage with the field of research, but also other standards by which to articulate and grasp it. This has also led to a new understanding of the performative capacities of methods and of how researching tourism is also a way of creating it in certain ways rather than others. Qualitative research in tourism Whether to apply quantitative or qualitative methods has been the object of intense discussion and has often been accompanied with a dichotomous view of the field of tourism research as divided into a business-driven (quantitative) and socially-oriented (qualitative) fraction. Its abstaining from reductionist representations and explanations has meant that until the late 1990s, qualitative research occupied a marginal position in tourism journal publications and doctoral thesis writings (Riley and Love 2000). Up until recently, the understanding of qualitative research as unable (or rather unwilling) to deliver the types of outcome which “explain and predict” tourism, has impacted upon its ability to gain general acceptance. Only slowly has tourism research made room for the changes in social and cultural sciences, which since the 1960s had opened up to new “alternative” paradigms and subsequent methodologies. By the turn of the millennium, qualitative research was increasingly gaining ground and has now become accepted as an essential and valid tourism research strategy to a broader audience of tourism scholars. This is exemplified by Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies by Phillimore and Goodman (2005), the first book on qualitative tourism research methods to be published as a paperback. Also, it is reflected in the foundation of journals based on qualitative research such as Tourist Studies (2001) and a drastic rise in qualitative research based publications in prominent journals such as Annals of Tourism Research and, to a lesser degree, Tourism Management. Tourism as a heterogeneous field Since the turn of the century, the research community is progressively coming to terms with the contributions of qualitative research in generating knowledge in and about tourism. In continuation to this, new issues and interests regarding the application and role of qualitative research can also be identified. One is a growing appreciation in business and management of the rich material and knowledge generated by qualitative research, for instance, through ethnography. As cultural insights are increasingly being perceived as “useful” in developing and managing tourism, “applied”, corporate, or business ethnography is on the rise. This trend raises new and critical questions on the changing impacts and power relations of qualitative research and knowledge production. Another issue related to the status and practice of qualitative tourism research is the emerging critique of the dichotomous perception of tourism research as either strictly instrumental or purely intrinsic. This understanding of research as divided into two incommensurable “camps” is gradually being replaced by a view of investigation as a highly complex network composed of heterogeneous and partially coherent practices. As an alternative of seeing the research in this field as bisected, one could also describe it, as done in Ren, Pritchard and Morgan (2010) as an intermingle of social and business research, teaching, funding, publishing, as well as other practical and “applied” activities all of which engage with and construct tourism research as a field of practice. The future for qualitative tourism researchAs divided fractions in tourism and research reconcile, the application of qualitative and quantitative methods may also become less contested, potentially leading the way to new ways of engaging with and creatively conjoining qualitative and quantitative methods and methodologies in years to come. For instance, the huge amounts of big data currently being generated online represent a challenge – as well as an opportunity, for qualitative research. An example of this is to be found in Jóhannesson, Ren, van der Duim and Munk (2014), in which digital methods are introduced as a way to mapping controversies. It is argued that the ongoing devising and use of numeric visualization tools to explore issues online affords new lines of inquiry which cut across the conventional quantitative/qualitative divide, spurring new questions about tourism and its relational ontologies. A different, but undoubtedly related direction which qualitative tourism research is taking is linked to the ever more widespread attention to complexity, multiplicity, and intangible issues drawing, for instance, on insights from cultural and Gender studies, as well as Science and Technology Studies (STS). Already in 2001, in the first editorial of Tourist Studies, Franklin and Crang called upon new tools with which to study tourism not only as an industry and business, but also as a mundane, embodied, enacted, and localized practice. Since then, a focus on mobility, affect, emotions, materiality, everyday life, and performativity has increased immensely and shown how cultural or social issues are not exogenous, but rather intrinsically linked to – or even co-created in, tourism. Such movements have necessitated and spurred new methods of inquiring into the highly heterogeneous and relational, glocally situated, and fleeting practices of tourism. In 2000, Riley and Love did not hold high hopes for the state and future development of qualitative research in tourism. Today, however, qualitative research is continuously expanding its tool box thanks to mobile, autoethnographic, visual, digital, and sensory methods. Material semiotics and non-representational approaches to the field urge the critical inspection not of how data is “extracted”, but rather how research material is composed and represented. The understanding of how research impacts and intervenes into our fields of investigation raises the awareness of how research and knowledge creation is always a matter of doing ontological politics (Mol 1999), that is of performing particular versions of reality while othering others. Hence, we not only study different realities, but also have the ability to choose between them. The field of tourism is witnessing an interest in the research community in tailoring qualitative methods (in combination with quantitative methods) to better accommodate and connect to the complexity and multiplicity of tourism. Hence, the field of qualitative tourism research is currently witnessing a fruitful and dynamic stage of methodological innovation. The current refinement of qualitative research methods and the more systematic reflections on how their impacts shape and perform the industry and global society at large hold promise for the further development of tourism-based methods and their future integration into a larger body of social and cultural research. See also: Epistemology; methodology, multidisciplinarity, paradigm, ethnography.References Ateljevic, I., A. Pritchard, and N. Morgan, eds. 2007 The Critical Turn in Tourism Studies: Innovative Research Methodologies. London: Elsevier.Franklin, A., and M. Crang 2001 The Trouble with Tourism and Travel Theory? Tourist Studies 1:5-22.Geertz, C. 1973 The Interpretation of Cultures. Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books.Jamal, T., and K. Hollinshead 2001 Tourism and the Forbidden Zone: The Underserved Power of Qualitative Inquiry. Tourism Management 22:63-82.Jóhannesson, G.T., C. Ren, R. van der Duim, and A. Munk2014 Actor-Network Theory and Tourism Research: Approaches, Implications and Future Opportunities. In Tourism Methodologies: New Perspectives, Practices and Procedures, J. Meged, B. Blichfeldt, K. Hvass and L. Hansen, eds., 119-137. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press.Mol, A. 1999 Ontological politics. A word and some questions. The Sociological Review 47:74-89.Phillimore, J., and L. Goodman, eds.2004 Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies. London: Routledge.Ren, C., A. Pritchard, and N. Morgan 2010 Constructing Tourism Research: A Critical Approach. Annals of Tourism Research 37:885–904.Riley, R., and L. Love 2000 The State of Qualitative Tourism Research. Annals of Tourism Research 27:164-187Tribe, J. (2005)New Tourism research. Tourism Recreation Research 30: 5-8Carina RenAalborg University, Denmark

UR - http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-319-01669-6_426-1

M3 - Encyclopedia chapter

SN - ISBN 978-3-319-01383-1

SP - 1

EP - 4

BT - Encyclopedia of Tourism

A2 - Jafari, J.

A2 - Xiao, H.

PB - Springer Publishing Company

ER -

Ren CB. Qualitative research, tourism. I Jafari J, Xiao H, red., Encyclopedia of Tourism. Springer Publishing Company. 2016. s. 1-4