Concerns and constraints of teaching tourism and hospitality in a multicultural context

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Witsel, M 2006, 'Concerns and constraints of teaching tourism and hospitality in a multicultural context', in P Tremblay & A Boyle (eds), Proceedings of To the city and beyond: Council for Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Education Conference (CAUTHE), Melbourne, Vic., 6-9 February, Victoria University, Melbourne, Vic.


As an outcome of the author’s ongoing PhD research, this paper describes how a phenomenological research method was employed to gather meaningful, essential understanding of the lived experiences of tourism and hospitality academics in the multicultural classroom. Twenty-seven lecturers, across seven campuses of two Australian schools teaching tourism and hospitality, were interviewed to ascertain what experiences the lecturers thought were of importance in the teaching of tourism and hospitality, in a multicultural context. Three main areas outline the scope: the experiences surrounding the self, surrounding the multicultural other, and surrounding the environment. In this paper the form and value of this type of interpretive phenomenological method is explained, as it explores the darker side of lecturers’ experiences: the constraints (those influences which restrict the lecturer in carrying out teaching in an optimal manner), and their concerns (the emotional cares which are experienced as negative). The concerns and constraints experienced by these lecturers show that these lecturers experience an essential sense of ‘lostness’ in each of the three areas as they can feel professionally and personally lost, and at a loss, in each of these areas.