The last ten to fifteen years have seen a marked explosion in the literature on tourism. General and specific abstracting journals and bibliographies featuring tourism exist (e.g. GeoAbstracts and Leisure, Recreation and Tourism Abstracts) and literature reviews of different aspects of tourism are frequently undertaken (e.g. Pearce 1981; Graburn 1983; Cohen 1984) but there has been little attempt to analyse the nature of the literature itself. What is actually being used and where it is coming from are questions which have rarely been addressed as the abstracts give no indication of use and most reviews are content oriented. Answers to these questions can provide insights into the nature, structure and boundaries of tourism research.
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