A Temporal and Situational Approach in Tourism Education as a Mechanism for Economic Growth and Development

A Temporal and Situational Approach in Tourism Education as a Mechanism for Economic Growth and Development

Evangelina Cruz Barba (University of Guadalajara, Mexico)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2239-4.ch008


The argument of this chapter is that tourism education can generate a positive impact on the economic growth of a country by fostering a link between education and work, including economic development. A review of the literature based on the use of bibliometric techniques is performed, but quantification of the work is not conducted; however, Web of Science and Scopus, among other databases, are consulted in relation to economic growth, economic development, human capital and tourism education. All this around the theoretical economic and sociological framework that sustains this work.
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The division of labor and specialization as sources of the wealth of nations was proposed in 1776 (Smith, 1987). Currently, the challenge of economic development in the world suggests, among other things, a transformation of the productive structure in countries to incorporate the redefinition of human capital and its strong burden on new knowledge into economic activities. This may be the fundamental instrument for the thrust of sectors such as services (where tourism is located), and not only in the extractive industry. The diversification of productive activities in the countries is expressed in their economic performance from job creation, welfare, and social inclusion. The challenge is to manage knowledge from human capital to incorporate it into the economic and social fabric (Ferrer, 2010).

Knowledge management refers to the professions, which according to their origin and knowledge skills, are classified as liberal and modern, the first that arise from the Middle Ages as philosophy, law and medicine, as a manifestation of theoretical thinking, and the modern ones that originate in praxis as a result of the evolution of jobs. Both professions depend on a social structure, whose performance depends on a balance of diverse social forces within a field of knowledge (Parsons, 1939). Thus, the tourism job is institutionalized when professional validation is required in the world in response to national and international market requirements. Starting in 1893, university studies in tourism began with a technical training aimed at hospitality, specifically at the school in Lausanne, Switzerland, with the support of local hotel associations (Formica, 1996), since then, education in the world gradually expanded to all latitudes.

From the emergence of education in tourism in the world, this goes hand in hand with the processes of globalization of tourism activity. However it is not the same in all countries, for instance, in Central Asia, international demand for tourism is emerging internationally according to the World Tourism Organization, Kazakhstan, which is the most dynamic country in Central Asia, barely registered about three million international tourists, followed by Uzbekistan with almost 1 million tourists (UNWTO, 2018, p.15). Unlike other regions of the world, the empirical evidence shows tourism as one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, the tourism sector has been seen as an increasingly important driver of growth and prosperity for many countries, the authors Dias, Costa, Pita and Costa (2017); Le, McDonald, and Klieve (2018); Velempini and Martin (2019); Fahimi, Saint, Seraj and Akadiri (2018); Folarin, Oladipupo, Ajogbeje and Adeniyi (2017); Di Liberto (2013) and Saleh, Assaf, Ihalanayake and Lung (2015) argue that tourism activity has become a crucial source of income for many countries. From this idea, questions arise about the link between economic growth, economic development and tourism education that has been little studied to date.

Specifically, in Central Asia, Spoor (2005) argues that economic growth in that region, after the Russian financial crisis of 1998, is mainly due to the expansion of extractive industries (oil, gas, metals), and the export of crops such as cotton. Almost all Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is directed to these subsectors, especially to Kazakhstan, for their provision of resources in extractive industry capabilities and mineral wealth. Therefore, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures between 1997 and 2004 indicate a recovery in the economic growth of Central Asia, among other things, due to the international prices of these goods. However, agriculture and services are relegated. Thus, the analysis of the role of education in tourism, as an externality of human capital in the services sector, suggests a possible improvement of economic growth indicators thanks to the possibility of diversifying economic activities when considering the tourism sector and not only extractive industry.

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