Lifelong learning and tourism education
This chapter provides an introduction to the volume by outlining key elements in the history, practice and conceptualisation of lifelong learning in the area of tourism. Drawing on research regarding the origins and first efforts of lifelong learning, it also highlights important factors that have informed and differentiated approaches towards its implementation. These include the historical and geo-political circumstances surrounding the growth of tourism, its particularities as an industry and as a form of employment, the evolution and characteristics of the most frequent forms of organisation in lifelong learning provision and delivery, the potentially game-changing role of technology and the relatively narrow interpretation of lifelong learning as adult learning aimed at enhancing employment prospects, which often neglects other learning stages and motives. The chapter thus paves the way for the ensuing discussions in individual chapters in the volume and offers an overview of their rationale and contribution to the theme of lifelong learning in tourism.