Applying endosymbiosis theory: tourism and its young workers

Richard N.S. Robinson, Tom Baum, Maria Golubvskaya, David J. Solnet, Victor Callan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102751
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Early online date11 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2019


  • systems theory
  • endosymbiosis theory
  • interdependency
  • employment
  • young workers
  • tourism organisations


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