How to not reinvent the wheel! A curated selection of tourism research resources, including academic, government, and industry sources, and hospitality and tourism trade publications, from Australia and around the world, suitable for students, operators and trade.
Fighting Food Waste in Hotels NEW World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, came together to work with the hospitality industry on understanding and reducing food waste. Through research and a series of demonstration projects with properties across the country, innovative strategies were identified to engage staff, partners and guests in cutting waste from hotel kitchens.
Participating hotels saw reductions of 10-38% in just 12 weeks. If this scaled across the industry – it would eliminate half a million tons of waste within a year.
Tourism Research Resources
Before you begin: You will want to avoid public or professional embarrassment, or academic excoriation as a result of being caught plagiarising the work of others.
Avoiding Plagiarism - Purdue OWL. Just because it's on the web and in the public domain, doesn't mean it's free for you to use without permission. Stealing or copying someone else's work and passing it off as your own is not an auspicious way to further your career (or web site!). An excellent resource for students, teachers, and academics, "Avoiding Plagiarism" goes to a series of exercises that will help you recognise when and where to use the various forms of source materials and citations.
See also Big Volcano ERC Citation, Credits, Referencing
Below are a selection of academic web sites offering free access to published papers and peer reviewed research. You may need to sign up or sign in to access material (and don't forget to cite.)
Academia.edu "is a platform for academics to share research papers. The company's mission is to accelerate the world's research. Academics use Academia.edu to share their research, monitor deep analytics around the impact of their research, and track the research of academics they follow." Search a global database for subjects, people and documents. Go to papers with third party links (sometimes to pay for view journals), read onsite, create an acount or sign in using Facebook or Google (just be sure you're happy with the "terms" though), and be able to download in PDF. Clean, crisp design, fast search results and document display. For a sample of papers available see: * Tourism Studies * Ecotourism and Sustainable Development * Travel and Tourism
MDPI "A pioneer in scholarly open access publishing, MDPI has supported academic communities since 1996. Based in Basel, Switzerland, MDPI has the mission to foster open scientific exchange in all forms, across all disciplines. Our 205 diverse, peer-reviewed, open access journals are supported by over 35,500 academic editors. We serve scholars from around the world to ensure the latest research is freely available and all content is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). " * Tourism * Ecotourism * Tourism Travel
ResearchGate "... is the professional network for scientists and researchers. Over 15 million members from all over the world use it to share, discover, and discuss research. We're guided by our mission to connect the world of science and make research open to all. Advance your research. Discover scientific knowledge, and make your research visible." Sign up for free, and search an area of interest, with access to abstracts, cites, references, and articles, publications and excerpts available for download, depending on copyright status. * Tourism * Ecotourism * Travel
Semantic Scholar "is a free, nonprofit, academic search engine from AI2. Cut through the clutter. Find peer-reviewed research from the world's most trusted sources." * Tourism * Ecotourism * Tourism Travel
- Statista Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Statistics "... and Market Data on Travel, Tourism & Hospitality." Big data aggregated, filtered and made pretty to be sold. Free account offers access to "basic statistics" and download as PDF and .png. Useful for overview entry level data and those on a deadline! ;-)
- STR "Founded in 1985, STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for global hospitality sectors." See also Hotel News Now "...is an online news resource that combines the decades worth of experience from its editorial team along with unprecedented access to STR data to provide vital, up-to-the-minute information for hotel decision makers throughout the world."
- Travel and Tourism Research Association "TTRA has over 500 active members, including professionals from airlines, accommodations, attractions, resorts, transportation companies, public relations and advertising firms, media, travel research consultants, government tourism agencies, convention and visitors bureaus, universities and other organizations interested in travel research and marketing." An excellent web site for preliminary research, and networking events opportunities.
- Tourism Office Directory "...A list of foreign countries/destinations and regions and their tourist information offices within the United States. Where available, the address, phone number and website of each are included. Some countries have no tourist office in the US, and for each of those we are giving the embassy or consulate address followed by, if there is one, a tourism board website." A simple but extensive list of US based international tourism offices, and contact details within the USA.
- Tourism Research Links: Planning, Development, Research, Consulting Hey - it's Rene! A rich collection of hotlinks to many Tourism Resources. Quite a few now out of date, but still enough there to be useful.
- The UNWTO eLibrary "... is an online service from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) with a broad coverage of tourism and related subject areas. The UNWTO Elibrary is an information source offering an unparalleled coverage of research and information in the area of tourism and available to our Member States, Affiliate Members, subscribers and general public. The subject areas reflect all important themes moving the tourism sector and include, among others, ecotourism and sustainable development, tourism statistics, market research, innovation and new technologies and tourism policies. The UNWTO Elibrary contains books, journals and statistical reports by country and by indicator.".
- The UNWTO Knowledge Network Program is an inclusive Community of Knowledge within the UNWTO Affiliate Members Programme where knowledge generators, policy makers and practitioners proactively participate in sharing, interacting and accessing of relevant resources to be able to stimulate the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge in tourism. ... is established with the background of the former UNWTO Education and Science Council. [and] ... is composed of over 130 institutions, organizations and enterprises from 40 different countries with a demonstrated research competency and extensive experience in tourism development and innovation. Through the UNWTO Knowledge Network, members have a common space at their disposal to interact, share and access relevant information. More importantly, they benefit from an unparalleled platform to create, disseminate and apply their knowledge resources in a manner to play a prominent role in shaping the future of the tourism sector.
- World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTO) The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is the body which represents the Travel & Tourism private sector globally. Our Members include over 170 CEOs, Chairs and Presidents of the world's leading Travel & Tourism companies from all geographies covering all industries. WTTC works to raise awareness of Travel & Tourism as one of the world's largest economic sectors, supporting one in 10 jobs (319 million) worldwide and generating 10.4% (US$8.8 trillion) of world GDP in 2018. WTTC conducts research on the Economic Impact of Travel & Tourism in 185 countries for nearly 30 years. Our priorities are: Security & Travel Facilitation, Crisis Preparedness, Management & Recovery, and Sustainable Growth."
- Animal Ethics Infolink (Australia) "The Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (the Code) was established on the initiative of scientists in 1969. It is rewritten periodically to take into account changes in technology and society's views." Why might Animal Ethics be included here with tourism research resources? Because if you are a wildlife researcher or guide, you need to be aware of these codes and policies.
- Agreements, Treaties & Negotiated Settlements Project "The Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements database (ATNS) is an online gateway which links together current information, historical detail and published material relating to agreements made between indigenous people and others in Australia and overseas. The ATNS database is designed for the use of indigenous and other community organisations, researchers, government and industry bodies."
- The Australian Heritage Council "...is the principal adviser to the Australian Government on heritage matters. The Council assesses nominations for the National Heritage List, and the Commonwealth Heritage List. The Minister may ask the Council for advice on action that he may take in relation to the List of Overseas Places of Historic Significance to Australia." Find information about National heritage assessments, Nominating a heritage place, Priority assessment lists, Heritage strategies and management plans, Thematic studies, AHC publications, National heritage organisations, International heritage organisations, and more.
- Department of Tourism - University of Otago. Research in the Department of Tourism Index page with links to bibliography details of published works by students and staff.
- Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS) "is a research, campaign and advocacy organisation. We study the social, cultural, economic and environmental impact of tourism on local communities. We believe that tourism should be non-exploitative, equitable and sustainable. A question that has been central to our work and directs much of it is 'Who Really Benefits from Tourism?'" Indian based, with an excellent Resource Center linking to their published work.
- Great Barrier Marine Park Authority Strategies to manage the Reef "To achieve this protection and sustainable use, we're working with other Australian and Queensland government agencies, industries and the community to implement the Reef 2050 Long-term Sustainability Plan, an overarching framework for Reef management."
- New Zealand Tourism research and data "We collect, analyse and publish New Zealand tourism data, along with a range of useful tools and publications."
- Tourism Australia "Tourism Australia's corporate website. News and information for Australian tourism businesses and international media."
- Tourism and Events Queensland '...is a statutory body of the Queensland Government and its lead marketing, destination and experience development and major events agency. This website features a wealth of tourism and events news, research and information, making it a central point for the industry, media, governments, special interest groups and anyone interested in the business of tourism and events."
- Tourism Research Australia "Tourism Research Australia is a branch within Austrade. We are Australia's leading provider of quality tourism intelligence across both international and domestic markets. We equip industry with information to strengthen their marketing and business decisions. Our data underpin government tourism policy and help improve the performance of the tourism industry for the benefit of the Australian community."
- allAfrica.com: Travel "AllAfrica is a voice of, by and about Africa - aggregating, producing and distributing 700 news and information items daily from over 140 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public. We operate from Cape Town, Dakar, Abuja, Monrovia, Nairobi and Washington DC." Excellent source for African travel industry news and developments.
- The European Travel Commission (ETC) "...is the non-profit organisation responsible for the promotion of Europe as a tourist destination in third markets. Our 33 member National Tourism Organisations work together to build the value of tourism for all the beautiful and diverse countries of Europe through cooperation in sharing best practices, market intelligence and promotion." Publications include Handbooks, Market studies and Trends available to download as PDF or watch a video.
- European Commission Overview of EU Tourism Policy "EU policy aims to maintain Europe's standing as a leading destination while maximising the industry's contribution to growth and employment and promoting cooperation between EU countries, particularly through the exchange of good practice. The EU's competence in the tourism is one of support and coordination to supplement the actions of member countries."
- Visit Britain "As the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), VisitBritain/VisitEngland plays a unique role in building England's tourism product, raising Britain's profile worldwide, increasing the volume and value of tourism exports and developing England and Britain's visitor economy." Link goes to industry page where sub sections include Industry Groups and Bodies, industry advice and resources, research and insights and more.
- UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) - Americas "The Regional Representation for the Americas also pays particular attention to the specific needs of the National Tourism Administrations, local authorities and tourism enterprises in the region, conducting seminars and conferences on topics of interest to the tourism industry, including courses on tourism human resource development." Events, News and publications.
- The Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) This site serves as the research and marketing resource for the Arizona tourism industry and media representatives. Research data, marketing plans and program information regarding the Arizona Office of Tourism's strategic program of work is available throughout this site." Useful Research Resources link page to National and Arizona state tourism, travel and government web sites.
- Pure Michigan "...strives to be a resource for the tourism industry in the state of Michigan. Here you'll find the latest tourism industry reports and initiatives, as well as the most up-to-date Travel Michigan program updates."
- Cultural Heritage Tourism "Our Mission is to provide a platform for Cultural Heritage and Destination Tourism Professionals to Connect and Share Info on Best Practices – Research & Statistics – Toolkits – Technical & Funding Assistance – Events – Workshops & News." US based with (some broken) links to extensive resources. Still useful despite this.
- Destination Canada "...is a Crown corporation wholly owned by the Government of Canada. Our campaigns are targeted to reflect individual market conditions and traveller interests. In collaboration with our tourism industry partners, we promote Canada internationally as a premier four-season tourism destination. We are a leader in industry knowledge, and provide intelligence, tools, and insights to our partners—equipping them to optimize their business and maximize their reach." Research.
- National Travel & Tourism Office "Creates a positive climate for growth in travel and tourism by reducing institutional barriers to tourism, administers joint marketing efforts, provides official travel and tourism statistics, and coordinates efforts across federal agencies through the Tourism Policy Council. The Office works to enhance the international competitiveness of the U.S. travel and tourism industry and increase its exports, thereby creating U.S. employment and economic growth..." The web site looks very old school, and some of the research and statatistics hasn't been updated for a decade, International Visitation and Spending in the United States being the exception.
- Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) "Responsible tourism aims to minimize tourism's negative impacts on the environment and maximize the positive contributions tourism can make to local communities. If left unchecked, large-scale tourism development can damage ecosystems, pollute environments and exploit local communities." Projects and studies are available to view and download as PDF.
See also Academic, Education & Scientific Organisations, Industry Associations and Societies, Australian Government Agencies, Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Activities, Sustainable Design & Management
Tourism Business Toolkits & Tourism Planning Resources
- Fighting Food Waste in Hotels NEW World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, came together to work with the hospitality industry on understanding and reducing food waste. Through research and a series of demonstration projects with properties across the country, innovative strategies were identified to engage staff, partners and guests in cutting waste from hotel kitchens.
Participating hotels saw reductions of 10-38% in just 12 weeks. If this scaled across the industry – it would eliminate half a million tons of waste within a year.
- How to calculate RevPAR and other hotel performance metrics"Data is incredibly valuable to any hotel or accommodation business. Without it you can't hope to make accurate, informed, or strategic decisions for the benefit of your property. This article will explain everything you need to know about RevPAR and many other popular hotel metrics, so you can start making positive change at your hotel straight away." Valuable resources from Siteminder.
- Destination NSW Business Development Resources "...has an extensive range of business development resources available to assist tourism operators and related businesses in the tourism and events industry. The collection is constantly being updated and enhanced in response to industry requests and the availability of new programs and multi-media options". Link index to an excellent range of tourism business development tools and resources.
- The SPTO Tourism Strategy Development Resources. "The SPTO Tourism Strategy Development Resources website aims to provide access to existing Tourism strategy tools and resources. The collation of this knowledge will aid the future development and planning of tourism strategy on a national and regional level. Users of this website are encouraged to submit new tools and resources and provide feedback on existing content." Includes The SPTO Tourism Toolkit and examples of past and current Tourism Strategies for South & Central Pacific, Caribbean, Asia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and more.
- Northumberland Tourism Resources "Northumberland Tourism is the Destination Management Organisation for Northumberland." Resources include Toolkits, FAQs, Facts sheets, research and more.
- Toolkit on Poverty Reduction through Tourism "The toolkit outlines the background to poverty reduction approaches and how the International Labor Union (ILO) is involved within the context of decent work and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Recent developments in tourism and a vision for an inclusive, pro-poor tourism industry are summarized. A toolkit on poverty reduction through tourism has been produced. It aims at assisting developing and least developed countries to create a sustainable tourism industry and businesses based on decent employment. It is oriented towards SMEs and local communities in rural areas and includes case studies, training sessions and best practices. The toolkit illustrates the links between the ILO Decent Work Agenda, poverty reduction and the Millennium Development Goals." Available as a PDF download in English, Español: Français, Bahasa Indonesia, Português, tiéng Viet.
- Rainforest Alliance's Online Training Platform " Extensive library of online training materials for best practices in sustainable agriculture, sustainable tourism, REDD+, and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Claims, Traceability, and Trademarks."
- Tourism Yukon Tourism e-Library: Guides, Reports & Toolkits "... a wide-array of free downloadable resources that can help you to develop or expand your business. Browse through the most recent and relevant guides, reports and toolkits to obtain information about planning and development, marketing and promotions, and regional, national and international tourism."
- Tourism Planning Toolkit - Tourism New Zealand. "The development of a Tourism Planning Toolkit for local government is a collaboration between the Ministry of Tourism, Local Government New Zealand and Lincoln University. The Toolkit brings together extensive existing information, as well as developing new resources, that will enable local government to improve tourism destination management in their areas." The PDF kit is a downloadable link now hosted at the Sport and Recreation Knowledge libarary.
Other Tourism Resources
A miscellaneous category for resources which don't really fit elsewhere, including resources which could assist with interpretive and operational topics.
- American Trails "...celebrates decades of working on behalf of all trail interests. Our website is one of the world's most comprehensive online sources for planning, building, designing, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails, greenways, and blueways." Resource Library. North American focus with excellent resources that should be useful elsewhere.
- The Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants (ASGAP) Avery useful resource for Australian operators and tour guides, with plant guide, propogation and links, amongst other resources.
- Department of the Environment and Energy - Publications Index to Australian federal govt Environmental and energy related publications, papers and documents tabled in parliament.
- Hawai'i AgriTourism Association The Hawai'i AgriTourism Association (HATA) is the leading organization and recognized voice that connects the agriculture sector with the visitor industry and residents across Hawai`i for mutual educational and economic development.
- Tourism Industry "...a division of NSW Business Chamber, helps businesses operating in the Visitor Economy maximise their potential to ensure New South Wales remains the number one tourism destination in Australia." Index page with links to addtional resources useful for tourism operators.
- Reimbursing The Future (1996) Now archived, the basic principles may still be of value. "An evaluation of motivational, voluntary, price-based, property-right, and regulatory incentives for the conservation of biodiversity."
- Vagabond Globetrotting 3: The Electronic Traveler in the New Millennium (AudioBook) “The definitive how-to book for world travel, Vagabond Globetrotting was first published in 1984 at the dawn of the information age. A second, updated edition appeared in 1989. Endicott's next book "The Electronic Traveler" introduced readers for the first time to the nascent travel resources available in the then-largely-unexplored cyberspace. This twentieth anniversary edition, Vagabond Globetrotting 3: The Electronic Traveler in the New Millennium, has been extensively revised and includes hundreds of essential web sites for travelers as well as indispensable tips, checklists, and resources.”
Hospitality and Tourism Trade Publications
While there are hard copy and online only publications available in each country or region, these are the web sites for trade publications I find useful for staying up to date with overall industry trends and news. You can become a subscriber, or just sign up to get regular free e-news updates.
- Executive Traveller "...is the new global destination for the world's premium travellers. Springboarding from the phenomenal success of Australian Business Traveller, Executive Traveller brings the best coverage of premium travel and lifestyle to an international audience. Sign up to our free newsletter and join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn." Great for keeping up to date with travel and tourism technology, airline and hotel news in particular.
- Travel Weekly AU "...is the market-leading magazine for the Australian travel industry, featuring news and analysis, career advice, training and product information, competitions and giveaways, new technology and online development, cruising, and leisure and business travel." Great for keeping up with news across various indutry sectors; especially aviation, with new route announcements and safety issues, technology for privacy, security and big data trends, and tourism for everything from PR announcements through to important industry trends.
- Hospitality Net "... the portal serves a worldwide audience of hospitality professionals, providing them with both daily updated content and interactive services. The site offers industry news, multimedia streamed features, discussion platforms, a recruitment center, a supplier marketplace and several focus areas in areas such as technology and sales & marketing." North American focus, with good international depth. Extensive industry resources, especially market reports, events and industry links. Like Hotel Executive (next), guest columnists offer insight into emerging trends and ideas, although I often find they're not quite as "meaty" as the latter, and serve more as a flag for more research elsewhere if it's a topic of interest.
- hotelexecutive.com "HotelExecutive is the hotel industry's leading online business resource for hotel owners and operators, including senior executives, directors, managers, investors and developers. Our website provides best-practice insights on hotel management and operations, as well as one of the largest news release distribution available to this market segment." This description pretty much sums up what this site provides. I'm rarely disappointed with articles I read when I choose to click on the email newsletter link. Even if you're a small operator, you can get many insights and ideas from here.
- Hotel News Resource "...the leading online information and knowledge base for the hospitality & travel industries. From operations in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Germany the network aggregates and distributes content on behalf of 2,533 organisations, [...] and utilizing proprietary software provides it's partners with a real-time solution to access relevant industry intelligence serving their region, segment and demographic." Fast loading and comprehensive, it is "the source for hotel industry news". Also see their Hotel Resource Network for full B2B Network sites listings, and sister site Travel Industry Wire for latest global and country travel data. I opted out of their daily emails and now prefer to drop into their twitter feed to stay in touch.
- Skift "Skift deciphers and defines trends for global CEOs and CMOs across travel, dining, and wellness sectors through a combination of news, research, conferences, and marketing services." Skift articles offer timely news about trends in travel and hospitality, and are almost always worth the read. While most articles will be valuable, sometimes their summary analysis can appear superficial, and read more like a public relations release than a researched story.
Additional Special Interest / Trade Publications
If you're targeting international markets, it helps to know what the local perspective is. I visit the following web sites occassionally.
- Adventure Travel Trade Association News The news feed web site for the Adventure Travel Trade Association. An excellent curated newsfeed for member news, and adventure and outdoor developments. "Our mission is to empower the global travel community to protect natural and cultural capital while creating economic value that benefits both trade members and destinations."
- Mongabay "News and inspiration from nature's frontline. Mongabay is a non-profit provider of conservation and environmental science news. A nonprofit environmental science and conservation news platform that produces original reporting in English, Indonesian, and Spanish by leveraging over 450 correspondents in some 50 countries. We are dedicated to evidence-driven objective journalism. Our main beats are forests, wildlife, oceans, and the conservation sector. We also undertake special reporting projects, which are deep dives on specific topics and geographies." Brilliant reporting and coverage. If the depressing news gets you down, check out their solutions topic stream for inspiration and hope.
- Travel Trade Weekly "Middle East & North Africa is the first and only weekly virtual publication of its kind in the MENA region."
- Travel Weekly UK "...provides unrivalled news, analysis and features on the people, products and issues facing the travel industry."
- Travel Weekly (TravelWeekly.com) USA. "...are the most influential B2B news resources for the travel industry. Via a multimedia portfolio of products, Travel Weekly and TravelWeekly.com deliver all the late-breaking news, analysis and research that travel professionals need to succeed." US travel trade magazine and web site.
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Curated picks and Amazon books with the search phrase "tourism research".