Today’s education market is actively discussing the role and direction of college education due to diverse changes in the educational environment such as the difficulty of finding jobs, the decrease in the number of school-age people, and online education. For the tourism industry, which has a high reliance on human services, it is significant to cultivate excellent manpower through effective college education, and it is timely to discuss how to educate students more effectively. Although it is important to promote tourism education research that can improve the educational environment and effectiveness by understanding the inherent and external factors involved in tourism education, prior literature has been limited in reviewing previous studies and giving research directions. This study aims to analyze the research trends of the tourism education and present the research directions. In order to achieve this, 202 papers from six major journals listed in the Korea Citation Index were collected by the year of publication, research subject, and research method. The result indicated that while curriculum topics are the most popular, there is a low interest in practical educational research such as students’ field practices. As for the educational environment, most studies have focused on students’ learning environment, and topics of campus life have been overlooked. Further, as the majority of studies have employed quantitatively-oriented research methods, it is suggested to promote other methods including mixed methods research. We also encourage researchers to target educational suppliers such as professors and industry professionals. Based upon the research findings according to the classification nomenclature, the present study can improve tourism education by addressing the implications and future directions for tourism education research.