Fostering higher level cultural learning among tourism students through virtual interaction

Angela Durko, Hanno Michail Martens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research presents a joint project between Texas A&M University and CBS International Business School, designed to bring awareness to students’ understandings of other people, cultures, feelings and behaviors. While both explicit and implicit cultural knowledge helps shape our interactions with others, it is the deeper level of understanding that creates cultural competence, allowing one to work and communicate effectively with varying cultures. Applying the Iceberg Concept of Culture and Deardorff’s understanding of intercultural competence, we show the effect virtual interaction can have on higher-level cultural learning amongst students. Through interactions, knowledge was co-constructed organically and caused a frame of reference shift. Pre- and post-interaction culture themes demonstrate a move toward cultural competence. This study shows the value of human interaction and the importance of education by offering face-to-face cultural exchanges through virtual discussion. Implications for educators and the potential of virtual travel experiences are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-247
Number of pages13
JournalJournal Of Teaching In Travel And Tourism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2021


  • Globalization
  • culture
  • social Media
  • tourism and Hospitality Education


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