INFORMATION LITERACY IMPLICATIONS FOR CONTEMPORARY AND FUTURE CURRICULUM DESIGN IN TOURISM EDUCATION
1 South-West University Neofit Rilski (BULGARIA)
2 University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (BULGARIA)
3 University Guglielmo Marconi – National Research Council - Rome (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:A successful definition of the nature of tourism can be given only if its complex nature is considered. So, admitting its interdisciplinary character and taking into account its added value to national economies, tourism includes a wide set of economic measures, actions, relations and interactions. Tourism developments goes hand in hand with the development of the new technologies. Thus, the research of the contemporary tourism, to a great extent, should relate its transformations to the issues of information literacy.
In view of many scientist the term Information Literacy (IL) can be revealed in view of academic- exchange and as such it can be understood only as a tool for achieving of a more socially inclusive education. Additionally, IL has been located at the intersection of education and student learning. Much in this vein, this research widens this intersection and includes the tourism as well.
From the viewpoint of theory and practice of tourism and when discussing some main characteristics of the tourism it becomes evident, that information literacy can present a variety of interactions which originate from the tourism domain. Over the years, researchers have voiced a broad range of concerns with the high dynamics of tourism activity as a main sphere of social, economic and cultural interaction. Education in tourism is profiled by a wide set of theoretical and practical implications. By focusing on fundamental studies from the field of geography, marketing and economics, human resources, on the one hand, and practical implications form the field of service, hospitality and leisure, on the other hand. Another important determinant is the education of tourism specialists and the inclusion of the principles of the global sustainable goals. It is also aimed at an efficient interaction between all participants in the tourism education (students, educators, practitioners). This kind of interaction represents the only one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is made up by the tourists, the host communities, the tourist establishments, tourist attractions and sites, and the tourists’ service providers. These circumstances shape the tourism and the needs for the tourism education in a very specific way.
Since IL cannot be limited to any scientific or applied field of theoretical field of human knowledge, the authors claim that for the field of tourism a specific type of literacies exists, namely the tourism information literacy (TIL). TIL can be viewed as consisting of specific subtypes. The main goal of this research is to define the tourism information literacy (TIL) and to describe some of its main variables, i.e. tourism destination literacy, cultural heritage literacy, travel literacy, leisure literacy, tourism attraction literacy, environmental literacy. In line with this goal a content analysis is provided. For the identification of the new types of information literacies the authors applied a deductive approach. As a result, the subtypes of the TILs are conceived as being of paramount importance for the following levels:
(i) the level of tourism education,
(ii) the level of tourism services for hospitality, travel and leisure and
(iii) the level of host-guest interaction.
Keywords: Information Literacy, tourism education, curriculum design, tourism interaction, types of information literacy in tourism, tourism in times of COVID-19.