Applying endosymbiosis theory : tourism and its young workers

Robinson, Richard N.S. and Baum, Tom and Golubvskaya, Maria and Solnet, David J. and Callan, Victor (2019) Applying endosymbiosis theory : tourism and its young workers. Annals of Tourism Research, 78. 102751. ISSN 0160-7383 (

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Building on systems theory and its applications in tourism management, we introduce the natural science evolutionary 'endosymbiosis theory' to interpret the inter-dependencies of youth employment and tourism. Tourism organisations are located within a tourism industry or a sub-system, which in turn is bounded within a broader socio-economic ecosystem. We mobilise three classifications of symbiosis - mutualism, commensalism and parasitism to: a) test the analytic utility of this theoretical approach as a means to unpack the young worker and tourism employment relationships, and b) unify hitherto disparate literatures on the youth-tourism employment relationship. In particular, we model the explanatory value of endosymbiosis theory, navigating the ethicalities and moralities of the social sciences, in progressing our understanding of the tourism-young worker intersection.