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Title: Re-conceptualising the host : the role of broker-host networks in the ordering of tourism
Author: Beard, Lynn P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 0936
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
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As a concept deeply embedded in social and cultural practice, the host-guest relationship has been identified as a key paradigm in tourism research, where the relationship has traditionally been seen as an unbalanced binary involving powerful tourists and disempowered locals. More recently, the value of the concept of host has been challenged in the context of increased global mobility and commercialised relationships between tourists, industry providers and local communities. Despite this, it remains a key sensitising concept in our thinking about hospitality and tourism. As such, it is still regularly, and perhaps sometimes uncritically, employed in the literature in association with other concepts, including ‘community’, to express relationships between tourism producers and consumers, and ‘stakeholder’ when the context relates to relationships of policy and practice involved in the production of tourism. This study contributes to tourism theory through a re-conceptualization of the role of host in light of postmodern developments in tourism and hospitality research, focusing on the processes of mediation between different actors which shape the way tourism is created and performed. It uses actor-network theory (ANT), to investigate the often-overlooked role of various categories of brokers, formal and informal, human and non-human, who operate within and around tourism. Developing the concept of broker-host networks, it examines two key areas of association: the multiplicity of people and organisations providing and using tourism services, and the hybrid environments in which these operate, using a case study design with an empirical focus on an established international and domestic tourism destination in North Wales. The narrative storylines show ways in which the broker-host concept is capable of generating questions about how tourism networks and tourism places travel through the formal structures of tourism policy, enrolling human and non-human actors which together perform the role of host on the ‘backstage’ of tourism.
Supervisor: Scarles, C. Sponsor: ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available