Early educational theorists have commonly expounded the link between philosophy and education, positioning education as a moral, social imperative and public good (Peters, 1966). By contrast, hospitality and tourism education evolved from an operational context (Airey, 2005; Morrison & O’Mahony, 2003) and the vocational ethos permeating the curriculum has focused, in the main, on extrinsic goals. The advent of degree-level studies, however, prompted the development of a holistic body of knowledge (Airey, 2005) which has allowed tourism to gain ‘recognition as a separate area of study in its own right’ (Fidgeon, 2010: 700). While the higher education tourism curriculum has incorporated liberal studies such as geography and sociology and included social goals such as poverty alleviation, the hospitality curriculum has, for the most part, remained true to its vocational roots (Lashley, 2013).