Anthropological contributions to tourism studies

Antonio-Miguel Nogués-Pedregal
  • Annals of Tourism Research, March 2019, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2019.02.005

What we have learned about Tourism thanks to anthropological research

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

What is it about?

Tourists are overtly present almost everywhere and Tourism is one of the most important economic realities in the world. Because of this, most of scientific research focus on the economic and managerial aspects of the hospitaliy & tourism industry. However, there are many cultural and social issues involved in the process that should be considered. The article explains five of the most relevant contributions made by anthropological research to the understanding of Tourism.

Why is it important?

The articles synthesizes almost ninety-years of anthropological research on Tourism. However, it is not a state-of-the-art nor a history of the 'anthropology of tourism'. Still, I explain five conclusions ranging from social theory (power, territory, social space and identity) to the identification of two specific tourism development strategies (to valorise and to value). I think that all the five conclusions might be helpful for stakeholders involved in tourism and hospitality, as well as all researchers interested in the subject.


Dr Antonio Miguel Nogués-Pedregal
Universidad Miguel Hernandez de Elche

I like this article because it is the results of some 25 years of research on the subject. It took me some years to make up my mind and to reach these five conclusions. The article does not intend to discover anything new but to synthesized what we have learned thanks to the efforts of so many anthropologists working on the field. I am quite proud of the theoretical model that explains tourism as a mediator in the production of meaning both in the realm of the tourism imaginaries and the local sense of identity.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Antonio Miguel Nogués-Pedregal