You are here

Understanding Tourism

Understanding Tourism
A Critical Introduction

  • Kevin Hannam - University of Sunderland, UK, Professor of Informatics at Leeds Beckett University, UK
  • Dan Knox - Liverpool John Moores University, UK, University of West of England, Bristol, UK

March 2010 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Understanding Tourism introduces tourism students to concepts drawn from critical theory, cultural studies and the social sciences. It does so with a light and readable touch, highlighting the ideas that underlie contemporary critical tourism studies in a practical and engaging way.

Specifically, the authors examine how post-structuralist thought has led to a re-imagining of power relationships and the ways in which they are central to the production and consumption of tourism experiences.

Eleven clear, relevant chapters provide an accessible introduction to tourism defining, explaining and developing the key issues and methods in this exciting field.

These topics include:

  • Regulating Tourism
  • Commodifying Tourism
  • Embodying Tourism
  • Performing Tourism
  • Tourism and the Everyday
  • Tourism and the Other
  • Tourism and the Environment
  • Tourism and the Past
  • Tourism Mobilities
  • Researching Tourism

A strong teaching text, this will be well received by lecturers seeking an authoritative, multi-disciplinary book on contemporary tourism and by students who want a practical, grounded introduction which understands their learning and research needs.

Understanding Tourism
Regulating Tourism
Commodifying Tourism
Embodying Tourism
Performing Tourism
Tourism and the Everyday
Tourism and the Other
Tourism and the Environment
Tourism and the Past
Tourism Mobilities
Researching Tourism

An insightful and original approach to different aspects of tourism...The book is admirable for the interesting, vivid and shrewd style of writing which makes it really enjoyable for reading. Fun and humour are deliberately and successfully interwoven into the elevated academic analysis, thus making this text equally valuable for professionals, academics, students and anyone else who is passionate about tourism
European Journal of Tourism Research

At last! A refreshingly lucid text for students that substantially enriches the analysis of tourism and tourists. Hannam and Knox explore the recent theoretical insights that have helped tourist studies to escape from a self-imposed academic ghetto and have multiplied approaches to making sense of tourism. Clear, concise and stimulating
Tim Edensor
Manchester Metropolitan University

With this book Hannam and Knox have gone a long way towards elevating the study of tourism from the obscure margins of social science into a bona fide research area. They encourage us to think critically about the subject and successfully interweave dominant contemporary concepts to present tourism as a social, cultural, economic, and spatial phenomenon. Students will be sure to enjoy this innovative contribution which takes a 'user-friendly' approach and provides a useful pedagogic tool for those at all levels of study
Dimitri Ioannides
Professor of Human Geography; Mid-Sweden University and ETOUR

Understanding Tourism provides an in-depth and critical analysis of tourism studies that is conceptually rich, empirically strong and extremely accessible to scholars and students of tourism. It is a refreshing analysis of an extremely complex and multidimensional global phenomenon, and raises our understanding of tourism to new heights
Dallen Timothy
Professor of Tourism Development and Management, Arizona State University

A very interesting mobilities view of tourism with useful student-friendly text and exercises
John Urry
Distinguished Professor, Lancaster University

This is a useful and accessible introduction to critical approaches to tourism that will be a value for lecturers and students alike. The provision of many thought-provoking exercises will be of benefit for both teaching and learning
Greg Richards
Annals of Tourism Research

a nice introduction to the sociology of tourism. I like the additional materials available and would like to see more of this.

Miss heather jeffrey
Bedfordshire Business School, Bedfordshire University
August 23, 2016

The excercises that the book has at the end of every chapter are very useful. I like them very much.

Professor Gustavo Rodríguez
Geography , Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero
June 3, 2016

This book provides a clear description of the important theoretical aspects of tourism. This comprehensive and easy to understand book makes for an enjoyable read. Beneficial and recommended material for academics and students.

Ms Kelly Maguire
Business and Humanities, Sligo Institute of Technology
February 11, 2016

Good reading as an introduction to Travel and Tourism for learners to gain a better understanding of the concept of tourism.

Mrs Alicia Hawkes
Education, Totton College
October 16, 2013

Although the exercises and fact boxes are interesting and reviews each section well and there is a good range of chapter topics I found that the quotes used throughout were quite dated. I would like to see more up to date literature and articles referred to for a 2011 reprint.

Ms Luane Quigley
Hospitality, Tourism & Sport, North West Regional College
February 8, 2013

excellent book for introduction to tourism course

Dr Ashraf Jahmani
department of hotel m, Al-Ahliyya Amman University
July 9, 2012

Very much a theoretical text with the odd case study. Some interesting observations on commodification and past and present trends. The text probably does not have the detail of a Page or Holloway to make it essential reading, but it does provide some useful supplementary material

Dr Paul Fidgeon
Schl of Tourism,Hospitality & Leisure, Thames Valley University
November 2, 2011

Understanding Tourism is a good tool for undergraduate and postgraduate students, introducing an indepth and critical analysis of tourism as a global and fast-changing phenomenon. The book provides a good analysis of the key issues on comtemporary tourism studies, chalenging concepts and definitions.

Mrs Goretti Silva
School of Technology, Viana do Castelo Polytechnic Institute
April 1, 2011

An excellent and well-written text which is clearly written and enables undergraduates to gain an insight into the theoretical aspects underpinning the industry.

Ms Carol Southall
Business School, Staffordshire University
March 29, 2011

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase or sample this product on our Sage College Publishing site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.