Good textbooks to accompany and stimulate students on leisure and tourism courses are not always easy to find, but these three form a fair selection.
Carole Jones and Margaret Radcliffe focus on the knowledge needed for the three compulsory GNVQ foundation units: investigating leisure and tourism; promotion and marketing in leisure and tourism; and customer services. The book provides a good, short introduction explaining GNVQs and offers guidance on possible routes after completing the course.
The text is accessible and generally well laid out with many photographs, maps, diagrams and cartoons. It features a large number of almost exclusively British-based case studies. Helpful icons are used for key words and activities and also to denote the key skills. The activities are well linked to the text and, unusually in such a book, there is a good index.
As a one-time geography teacher I am concerned about the many inaccuracies in the maps on pages 59 and 85. These maps are identical (why?) and indicate, for example, that there are no major population centres in Scotland, the M11 goes from London to Peterborough and the M5 links Carlisle to the M62. It seems likely that sloppy editing is to blame - but it should have been spotted.
Intermediate GNVQ Leisure and Tourism by Katherine Kemp, Stephen Pearson and Sandra Nichol follows a similar format, catering for the intermediate-level GNVQ course and is particularly good value at only £7.99.
It is an "updated" version of an earlier text covering four areas: investigating leisure and tourism; marketing in leisure and tourism; customer service; and event management, which are linked closely to the GNVQ intermediate units.
The layout is clear and there is a large number of maps, diagrams, advertisements, photographs, brochure images, cartoons and tables, many of which are used in stimulus-response activities. The book is detailed and provides comprehensive coverage of the knowledge and skills areas of the GNVQ in leisure and tourism.
However, leisure and tourism can have negative consequences. These include environmental damage, inflation and social division. There is little evidence from these two books that students being prepared to work in this sector will be required to gain awareness of critical perspectives on the "industry".
Tourism and Leisure Research Methods by Mick Finn, Martin Elliott-White and Mike Walton is aimed at HND and undergraduate students. At the time of writing all the authors worked at the University of Lincoln and Humberside and have clearly applied the techniques and methods described.
Sections of the book focus on research styles and traditions, qualitative and quantitative techniques, sampling and the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data.
There are chapters on statistical techniques and writing a research report. Usually, students can be taught how to use particular research techniques in given situations. They can also, with assistance, come up with research questions and topics for their projects. Deciding on the right techniques in relation to their research focus is frequently the key problem.
This book should be excellent in helping students make appropriate choices. There are few dedicated leisure and tourism research books at this level and this is a very welcome addition.
Peter Mason is reader in tourism, business school, University of Luton.
Foundation GNVQ Leisure and Tourism. Second edition
Author - Carole Jones and Margaret Radcliffe
ISBN - 0 582 38163 0
Publisher - Longman
Price - £13.99
Pages - 191