Academic myths of tourism

Robert Douglas McKercher, Bruce Prideaux

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


Myths play a critical role in the development of any field of study. They act as the central point for coalition, and differentiate disciplines from each other. The absolute truthfulness of some myths, therefore is less important than their symbolic truth. Other myths, though, can be damaging, promulgating falsehoods and inhibiting the development of a field. This paper examines the roles myths have played in establishing the cult of tourism scholarship. Senior academics were surveyed to identify what they believe to be myths about tourism. Six broad categories of myth emerged: self interest; foundation; reactive stakeholder; convergent; too good not to be true; and myths inherited from other disciplines. Promulgation of these myths has been abetted by methodological inertia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-28
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014


  • Discipline
  • Field of study
  • Myth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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