Tourism field studies: Experiencing the carnival of Venice
Many studies in a diversity of disciplines document examples of experiential education, but there is a current need to report studies that explore such examples within tourism, hospitality, and event management contexts. These documented cases can contribute to the development of a stronger theoretical foundation upon which to base future programs within tourism, hospitality, and event management contexts. Well-designed experiential education programs have the potential to surmount some of the limitations of more traditional approaches to instruction. This article offers an evaluative account of an experiential education program (a study tour) that used the Carnival of Venice as its focus. Students were invited to learn about this renowned event and the city that hosts it by participating in a multiplicity of experiential activities that were presented as a university-credited elective course. An examination of participant experiences demonstrates a very high level of interest in this form of experiential education and provides key learnings in 3 specific areas: demographics and the influence of prior travel experience, the relationship between motivation to attend and destination appeal, and the potential for creativity in assessment.
Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education