academic papers

Myths of tourism institutionalization and Cancun


This interdisciplinary investigation revisits Cancún’s origins and tourism institutionalization. Original accounting documents separate myth and marketing from events to debunk widely disseminated misconceptions of the Mexican state’s role. This rare view of mass tourism emergence at a (trans)formative period demonstrates the historical processes, personalities, and ploys. Against a backdrop of conflicts, a banking alliance sparked integrally planned tourism centers. Cancún was the brainchild of economics-trained central bankers inexperienced in tourism with a mandate to increase foreign revenue. Amid looming failure, the bankers swapped land-for-shares to portray the project as a financial success to its stakeholders. Combined with fiscal sociology, organizational theory institutionalization through a six-stage process serves to incrementally reveal the introduction of central planning, the linchpin of Mexico’s tourism predominance.

Recommended citation: Ambrosie, L. M. (2015). Myths of tourism institutionalization and Cancun. Annals of Tourism Research, 54, 65–83.

Tourism policy research: avenues for the future


Combining an understanding of past achievements with a more critical review of the meta-theoretical assumptions on which each research endeavour is based, helps to highlight gaps and contradictions suggesting bridges to future research. Similar to other areas of business research, tourism research cohorts generally coalesce into one of three perspectives within funtionalism: economics, systems or political economy. Each perspective arrives at correlative conclusions. Few tourism policy researchers have employed phenomenology and such research has been conceptual. Future research would benefit from a triangulation of perspectives combining qualitative with quantitative methods to explicate and generalise the values and processes driving policy outcomes.

Recommended citation: Ambrosie, L. (2010). Tourism policy research: avenues for the future. International Journal of Tourism Policy, 3(1), 33–50.