Postprint of: Lacey, G, Weiler, B & Laing, J 2008, 'Looking towards Asia: an analysis of Australian Asian-themed postgraduate tourism dissertations', in J Jenkins (ed.), Developing and delivering industry-relevant education and research: Proceedings of the 2008 6th Asia-Pacific CHRIE (ApacCHRIE) Conference in association with THE-ICE International Panel of Experts Forum,, Perth, WA, 21-24 May, Australian School of Tourism & Hotel Management. ISBN: 9780646493565
Australia is increasingly focusing on the Asian region, including the export of education and research, and the field of tourism is illustrative of this focus and growth. Aside from the large number of Asian students who are attracted to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework tourism programs in Australia, there has been a notable growth in the number of Asian students enrolling in and completing higher degree (masters and PhD) research qualifications, as well as increasing interest by both local and international students in undertaking Asian-themed tourism research. The aim of this paper is to report and critically evaluate trends and patterns in Asian-themed Australian higher degree tourism research dissertations as evidence of the contribution to knowledge about tourism in Asia and the preparation of academics, researchers and scholars who can teach and conduct Asian-themed tourism research. An analysis of Australian tourism dissertations illustrates that studies in the field of business, and especially economics and marketing, have been the main focus of Asian-themed tourism research, with a number of disciplines and topics having been largely or wholly neglected. Patterns vary for individual countries, and the paper draws on socio-demographic trends and government policy to explain these as well as the more macro patterns and trends.