Tourism policy implementation in the developing world : The case of Phuket, Thailand.

KRUTWAYSHO, Oratai. (2006). Tourism policy implementation in the developing world : The case of Phuket, Thailand. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Tourism is growing rapidly in many developing countries, often encouraged by the view that tourism can overcome many of their economic difficulties. Tourism policy and planning is especially vital in these countries so as to avoid resource depletion, unsafe activities and inefficient development. Yet there remains only a limited research literature on tourism policy and policy implementation in the developing world. This study investigates the practical application of tourism policies in a developing country, with a particular focus on the sources of any gaps between tourism policies and their implementation. The study's approach involved developing a conceptual framework of issues related to tourism policy implementation, with this drawing on research on policy implementation in both developed and developing countries. This conceptual framework integrates ideas from several disciplinary fields and it recognises the integrity of both top-down and bottom-up approaches to implementation. The framework is applied to evaluate the application of three tourism-related policies in the case of Phuket in Thailand, with the policies being for the management of entertainment venues, the control of development in protected areas, and for beach safety. Attitudes to the implementation of these policies, including to the causes of any gaps between policy intent and practice, were assessed based on the views of actors involved in the policy processes and their effects. Relevant primary data were collected through semistructured interviews, document analysis and field observation. The study findings are used to evaluate the value of the conceptual framework. The study indicates that the three tourism-related policies were implemented in Phuket through a centralised policy system, with much control resting with national government and its officials. There was only a limited degree of local involvement, local consultation, and of evaluation and revision of policy based on local experiences. Many of the actors involved in Phuket's policy processes experienced difficulties related to bureaucratic administration, overlapping jobs, resource scarcity and lax enforcement. Many of them also noted how policy implementation was affected by Thailand's organisational culture and the people's socio-cultural values, including the prominence of hierarchical social relations and the potential for clientelism. The results alsohighlight the difficulties of enforcing regulations that might have limited the economic development of Phuket's tourism sector. This study contributes to our understanding of practical issues surrounding tourism policy implementation in developing world contexts. It also adds new theoretical insights, such as by demonstrating the value of a hybrid perspective on tourism policy implementation. This 'hybridity' recognises the complexity and uncertainty of policy implementation by combining both top down and backward mapping approaches to the subject.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2006.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:20
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:20
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19930

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