Policy Perspective of Tourism Sector

Policy Perspective of Tourism Sector

Neeta Baporikar (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia & University of Pune, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5772-2.ch013
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True, studies and research on tourism policy had a slow start, but today, most aspects of tourism policy are covered well in the literature, and notably, there has been a marked quickening in the pace of study over the past decade. There is proper documentation of the influences on policy, as are the roles of the different stakeholders in the policy process. This contrasts with the understanding of the work of the policymakers that are still incomplete or underdeveloped, as is the nature and influence of the different forms of policy output. The purpose of this chapter, based on one of the models of tourism policy making, is to examine the policy aspects for tourism development and examine the key issues therein. Adopting desk research approach and in-depth review of the literature, this chapter explores the issues regarding policy making and provides a policy perspective to this growing and dynamic sector.
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During the past four decades formal study of tourism has been developing, one of the frequent complaints made, is that no attention is there to politics and policy-making in tourism. Matthews (1975, p. 195) put it strongly, suggesting that “the literature of tourism is grossly lacking political research”, while Hall (1994, p. 17) nearly 20 years later wrote, “Research into the political dimensions of tourism [. . .] is in a relatively poor state”. More recently, Kerr (2003, p. 17) suggest, “Majority of tourism policy research is underdeveloped in terms of frameworks, approaches and theories to illustrate tourism policy accurately.” In many ways, this is surprising, given the forceful and controversial comments from Richter (1989, p. 11) that “where tourism succeeds or fails is largely a function of political and administrative actions and is not a function of economic or business expertise”. Perhaps driven by this, however, in the decade or so since Kerr’s comments, there has been what Airey and Ruhanen (2014, p. 149) have referred to as “a marked quickening in the pace of study about the policy and political dimensions of tourism”. There have also been regular special issues dealing with tourism policy and related topics, with that edited by Jenkins (2001) being an early contribution and more recently that by Bramwell and Lane (2011). At the same time, books, with recent examples by Lennon et al. (2006), Edgell et al. (2008), Butler and Suntikul (2010), Costa et al. (2014) and many others, have considerably extended the coverage of this aspect of tourism, such that it is now possible to begin to identify themes in the literature as well as omissions. Even with this limitation, a review of these kind deals with a broad and complex topic, and given that it covers a long period, it is inevitably selective. It draws upon a wide range of work carried out and published over nearly 40 years, but in doing so, it also omits a great deal. One element of this selectivity is that in drawing on work published in English, it inevitably misses much of the experience of the non-Anglo-Saxon world. There is no pretence here to be comprehensive. Rather the aim is to try to see some patterns and themes, which might help to understand where the study of tourism policy has reached. Following an introduction, the work examines the current state of tourism policy. This is to provide a broader background for understanding all aspects of policy-making in tourism.

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