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Saturday, 9 July 2011

Problems encountered by researchers in India and Remedial measures for promoting and improving the quality of Tourism and Hotel research in India

Tourism as an academic field and a research area is a recent phenomenon. Researchers in India, particularly engaged in empirical research are facing several problems:

  1. The lack of a scientific training in the methodology of research is a great impediment for researchers in our country. There is paucity of competent researchers especially in tourism and hospitality where the research primarily is behavior based and spans across cross cultural boundaries thereby making it all the more important and imperative that researcher is competent and educated enough to understand the intricacies and nuances of this type of research. Many researchers take a leap without knowing research methods. Most of the work, which goes in the name of research, is not methodologically sound. Research to many researchers and even to their guides, is mostly a scissor and paste job without any insight shed on the collated materials. The consequences are obvious, viz, the research results, quite often, do not reflect the reality or realities. Thus, a systematic study of research methodology is an urgent necessity. Before undertaking research projects, researchers should be well equipped with all the methodological aspects. As such, efforts should be made to provide short-duration intensive course for meeting this requirement.
  2. There is insufficient interaction between the university research departments on one side and business establishments, government departments and  research institutions on the other hand. A great deal of primary data of non-confidential nature remain untouched by the researchers for want of proper contacts. Efforts should be made to develop satisfactory liaison among all concerned for better and realistic researchers. There is a need for developing some mechanics of a university- industry interaction programme so that academics can get ideas from practitioners on what needs to be researched and practitioners can apply the research done by the academics.
  3. Most of the business units in our country do not have the confidence that the material supplied by them to researchers will not be misused and as such they are often reluctant in supplying the needed information to researchers. The concept of secrecy seems to be sacrosanct to business organizations in the country so much so that it proves an impermeable barrier to researchers. Thus, there is need for generating the confidence that the information obtained from a business unit will not be misused.
  4. Research studies overlapping one another are undertaken quite often for want of adequate information. This results in duplication and fritters away resources. This problem can be solved by proper compilation and revision, at regular intervals, of a list of subjects on which and the places where the research is going on. Due attention should be given toward identification of research problems in various disciplines of applied science which are of immediate concern to the industries.
  5. There does not exist a code of conduct for researchers and inter-university and interdepartmental rivalries are also quite common. Hence, there is need for developing a code of conduct for researchers which, if adhered sincerely, can win over this problem.
  6. Many researchers in our country also face the difficulty of adequate and timely secretarial assistance. This causes unnecessary delays in completion of research studies. All possible efforts be made in this direction so that efficient secretarial assistance is made available to researchers and that too well in time. University Grants Commission must play a dynamic role in solving this difficulty.
  7. Library management and functioning is not satisfactory at many places and much of the time and energy of researchers are spent on tracing out the books, journals, reports, etc., rather than in tracing out relevant material from them.
  8. There is also the problem that many of our libraries are not able to get copies of old and new Acts/rules, reports and other governmental publications in time. This problem is felt more in libraries which are away in places from Delhi and other state capitals. Thus, efforts should be made for the regular and speedy supply of all governmental publications to reach our libraries. Internet has eased the way research journals, reports and abstracts were read and used earlier making this problem solved to a very great extent. Thus, researcher should be well versed with all that it takes to sort the best and most useful information thereby making the whole process efficient for reducing time, effort and money spent on it.
  9. There is also the difficulty of timely availability of published data from various government and other agencies doing this job in our country. Researcher also faces the problem on account of the fact that the published data vary quite significantly because of differences in coverage by the concerning agencies.
  10. There may at times, take place the problem of conceptualization and also problems relating to the process of data collection and related things.
  11. There is one problem unique to tourism and hospitality research studies in India
      and that is of its size. India is a vast country with all the diversities and  
      demographic differences like no other and that pose a great difficulty while
       researching because it becomes practically impossible to include everyone in its
      purview given all its differences. Choosing a sample becomes the biggest
      challenge. Hence, in India tourism studies are more region and area specific very
             unlike other countries where the studies are undertaken on national levels.

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