• research;
  • RAE;
  • structure;
  • discourse;
  • visibility;
  • peripherality


Whereas those working on the inside of tourism generally feel that tourism research is making good progress, the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in the UK offered an outsiders' assessment of UK tourism research that was less benign. This paper examines the results and consequences of the RAE based on an examination of the submissions made by UK higher education institutions. It describes the position of tourism in the RAE and focuses on three key issues—structure, outcomes and visibility. It invokes Kuhnian and Foucauldian perspectives to foreground hidden consequences of the RAE (termed RAE-ification by the author) that threaten the development of UK tourism research. The article concludes that tourism research, finding itself on the periphery of UK research, faces similar problems to those faced by peripheral tourism regions. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.